Perhaps watching the kids go back to school has got you thinking about your own brand of learning.
Here are some “back-to-school” specials followed by a surprising assessment of what a college education means these days.
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I’ll bet they didn’t offer you these classes in school:
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Remind me why we keep telling everyone to go to college?
For decades, we’ve been taught to believe that college makes people better off, but this is getting more difficult to prove. As Richard Vedder points out in his fascinating article in the August issue of Forbes magazine, a college liberal arts degree isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
For starters, tuition in the last decade has risen an average of nearly 5% a year beyond inflation, according to the College Board.
The U.S. Department of Education reports that two in five students who start college, don’t get a bachelor’s degree withing six years.
Vedder informs us that 2.3 million people with bachelor degrees are looking for work. The average starting salary offer to 2010 graduates was only $48,700, down 1.3% from the year before, according to the National Association of Colleges & Employers.
So, why has this highly-coveted educational achievement been devalued? The fact is that most new jobs don’t require a college degree. According to Forbes, of the 30 occupations with the highest expected growth, only eight require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Most of the top ten, which include home health aides, customer service representatives and office clerks) require only “short-term, on-the-job training.”
Perhaps Vedder is correct when he suggests “credential inflation” is the reason people still inexplicably pursue a college education, even in the face of long-term debt and a dismal job market.
A college education may be portrayed as the Holy Grail, but remember this: at no time in our nation’s history have more than 28% of adults attained a college degree.
Whatever you decide, continue with a lifelong learning program. Always keep a professional development book on your night stand and a self-help audio program in your car.