Reason #1 Why College Is A Lousy Deal
A college degree doesn’t mean what it used to. Reasons are varied, and I’m going to address them in a series of blogs starting now.
Reason #1 is that more people than ever are going to college. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year 69.7% of all high school graduates enrolled in colleges or universities. This is a dramatic change from previous eras, when only the brightest or richest kids could find a path to higher education.
Not all of those who start college today will graduate, however. About two-thirds of today’s college freshman class can be expected to drop out somewhere along the way. Many should never have entered college in the first place. Too many were pressured to do so by parents, peers and school counselors, even though their talents and interests lay elsewhere. Many have the aptitude and desire to become skilled trade workers and would be better off doing so.
Even among those who stick it out and graduate, many still would be better off pursuing a trade. College degrees have been immensely devalued. Consider that in 1940 less than 5% of American adults had a bachelor’s degree or higher. The latest data shows that a little over a third of today’s American adults are college graduates. That doesn’t mean they are all on the road to successful careers. Rather, it means that some 37% of today’s college graduates are working in jobs that don’t require a college degree. You see a lot of them working at Starbuck’s or waiting tables for barely livable wages.
So Reason #1 why college is a lousy deal is because the market for college graduates is saturated. Stay tuned for Reason #2 in my next blog.