We have moved from thinking “I want to do job X, so I need degree Y” to “I want degree Z, what kind of job can I do now?”
You don’t need a college degree. You need a plan which might include a college degree.
Pushing more and more people into college purely for the sake of getting that sheepskin does not solve a problem. It actually creates them.
- More applicants drives up the cost of tuition (supply and demand)
- More financial aid drives up the cost of tuition (setting an artificial price floor)
- More financial aid causes a shortage (because it causes more demand)
- More graduates drives down their eventual salaries (supply and demand)
- More graduates drives up the unemployment rate (excess supply)
- Going to college but not graduating makes it more expensive and difficult to get in for everyone else who could have had your spot. (scarce resource misallocated to you)
Most Americans don’t need a liberal arts degree where they float around for four years and are exposed to the philosophical intellectual vagaries of the world. They need practical skills. What we need is more focused degrees that don’t include unnecessary culture I can get on the Food Network or The Learning Channel.
If you want a broader education, you can pay for it yourself and don’t complain to me when you can’t get a job.
If you want a job. Get an education (college, internship, apprenticeship, etc) that directly supports it. Learn Swahili once you can support yourself.
PS: I’m not saying TV is the answer for getting cultured. Just that in today’s information soaked daily experience, there are additional places to learn that stuff from than the University of My Tax Dollars.