October 27, 2015
So say recent college grads
A consistent theme of this blog has been that debunking the myth that you have to go to college to achieve financial success. I’ve written about the lack of jobs for most college graduates in the fields they study, about the skyrocketing cost of college and the hefty debts incurred from student loans, and how those debts linger for years to prevent college graduates and dropouts from enjoying marriage, home ownership and independent living.
Some might say that’s just my opinion and I’m pursuing my own agenda. Well, let’s take it right from the proverbial horse’s mouth. The results of a Gallup Poll published just last month reveal a striking degree of disillusionment among college graduates themselves.
The 2015 Gallup-Purdue Index found that among persons who have graduated college in the last 10 years, only 38% strongly agree that their education was worth the cost. That percentage rises to 50% when all college graduates are included, but even so that means half of all college graduates aren’t all that enthusiastic about the value of their education. The rise in dissatisfaction among more recent graduates no doubt stems from the factors I’ve been pointing out in this blog – difficulty in finding suitable jobs after graduation and the crushing burden of student debt.
The survey was based on an impressive sampling of 30,000 college graduates. I wish the people running this project had broken down responses a little further and distinguished between those whose parents or other benefactors paid for their college education, and those who paid the bulk of the bills themselves through student loans or other means. I suspect disillusionment would run even higher among those who paid for college out of their own pockets.
I’m not aware of any comparable surveys among skilled trade workers, but I’d be willing to bet a lot of money that people who build and repair things with their hands have fewer regrets about their career choice.