Does the American middle class really need to go to college?
February 9, 2011 2:04pm CST
I read an article today & must say I agree with it. http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/james-altucher%27s-8-alternatives-to-college-535903.html?tickers=COCO,APOL,ESI,DV,EDMC,STRA,%5eDJI The American middle class's attitude about education is screwing it over. We've come to believe that education is the way to advance but when you look at the actual numbers & what's happening it becomes a handicap. We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a degree in which there are only a limited number of positions & lots of competition. Think about it the average business only needs a small team of engineers & management ( if they're any good ) but could have THOUSANDS or production workers & other employees. If all those employees got degrees & expected the good jobs who would be left to actually do the work? Most of them would be left with huge school loan bills & no position in their field of study. Should they expect greater pay because of their education when the company doesn't really need it then the company just finds some foreigner to fill the position or send the jobs overseas. "Sorry, your overeducated & expensive!" Many companies now days prefer to hire from within then pay for that persons extra education. Leaving the ones who paid for their own standing around &/or working at McDonalds. I've got a degree in engineering ( graduated with highest honors )& as of yet none of my classmates who weren't already working in the field at the time have gotten a job in the field. Several companies I've worked for have taken advantage of my knowledge but never actually made it worth my while. So why did I pay a small fortune? Meanwhile at the company I work for now our engineering team consists of one person with an actual engineering education, one person who never completed his degree in MUSIC & another guy presently persuing a business degree. They have to actually get out their reference materials when they talk to me....
• United States
9 Feb 11
I think that attitude is a holdover from the days when education set you apart from others and could actually get you a good job. Like in the 1950's and before, because there were relatively few people who went to college or could afford to. My ex husband and in-laws subscribe to the "go to college" attitude. My oldest son is working to be a police officer and dropped out of college. I was a bit disappointed, I'd have liked him to get his criminal justice degree, but he doesn't need it to be a cop. My other son isn't sure he wants to continue college, either. I'll support his decision either way. Some people aren't college material and benefit a lot from trade school or other post secondary education. I don't think you have to have a college education to be successful or fulfilled.
• United States
9 Feb 11
I have to agree with your son. Why spend more time & money for a degree he doesn't even need for the career he's going into? I'm a bit worried for my daughter though. She's going to college for fashion design. Her education will end up costing far more than my house. When she gets out the real trouble starts. Most fashion design jobs are in areas Like New York or LA. Those areas are so overflowing with college grads who studied in that field they don't even pay them a decent wage. Why bother when they could just offer the job to one of the thousands of other applicants? Too much competition in the field = 0 pay. Add that fact with the cost of living in those areas & the huge payments on her student loans & it the outlook really doesn't look good.