America's Most Overrated Product
[E]ven those high-school students who are fully qualified to attend college are increasingly unlikely to derive enough benefit to justify the often six-figure cost and four to six years (or more) it takes to graduate. Research suggests that more than 40 percent of freshmen at four-year institutions do not graduate in six years. Colleges trumpet the statistic that, over their lifetimes, college graduates earn more than nongraduates, but that's terribly misleading. You could lock the collegebound in a closet for four years, and they'd still go on to earn more than the pool of non-collegebound -- they're brighter, more motivated, and have better family connections.
Also, the past advantage of college graduates in the job market is eroding. Ever more students attend college at the same time as ever more employers are automating and sending offshore ever more professional jobs, and hiring part-time workers. Many college graduates are forced to take some very nonprofessional positions, such as driving a truck or tending bar.
"America's Most Overrated Product: the Bachelor's Degree," by Marty Nemko, The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 2, 2008
- "Are Too Many People Going to College?" - Hobnob Blog, September 14, 2008
- "Does it matter where you go to college?" - Hobnob Blog, October 2, 2007
- "Kids and High School" - Hobnob Blog, January 24, 2006
- "What You'll Wish You'd Known," by Paul Graham, January 2005
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