NY Times and Pew tell us that college degrees are still good
- Although all 21–24 year olds experienced declines in employment and wages during the recession, the decline was considerably more severe for those with only high school or associate degrees.
- Before the recession, just over half of young adults with a high school degree (HS) were employed, compared to almost two-thirds of those with an associate degree (AA) and nearly three-fourths of those with a bachelor’s degree (BA).
- Job losses during the recession made existing employment gaps even worse. The employment declines for those with HS and AA degrees were 16 and 11 percent, respectively, compared with 7 percent for those with a BA degree. …
- Out-of-work college graduates were able to find jobs during the downturn with more success than their less-educated counterparts.
There has been talk on some conservative blogs that maybe young people shouldn’t go to college, that it’s a waste of time and money, and they could make more money as plumbers or working in the oil fields.
I think that skipping college is pretty bad advice if the person doing the skipping does not have some other career lined up, and it’s very rare that 18-year-olds have some quality career waiting for them.
College graduates think that non-college graduates are losers, and no one wants to hire a loser for any job if they have the option to hire a non-loser college graduate instead.
However, because colleges below the top-twenty or so are pretty interchangeable, it’s a very bad idea for lesser qualified college students to attend an expensive program if there’s a low-priced local option available.
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I should mention that the problem with the linked-to articles is that they treat all college degrees the same, making no distinction between prestige of the school or major.