Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Great College Scam

I've long written about colleges, in their greed, digging ever deeper into the applicant pool, admitting students who are not even close to ready for college-level instruction, very unlikely to graduate, and even less likely to land a job that requires a college degree.

Now, in The Great College Scam, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports a study of Bureau of Labor Statistics data that proves the point most frighteningly:

60% of the increased number of college graduates from 1992 to 2008 work on jobs requiring just high school!!!

It's time for the media to expose a college education for what it is: America's Most Overrated Product.

Update: HERE'S a derivative article on the topic.

10 comments:

Serge said...

I started my job as a cashier in 2002 as I started college, I was a diligent student and ended up with a BA from [first rate school] University of Washington (3.71 GPA), while working full time, in less than three years.

My degree was in Psychology so at first I thought to go into Academia (I.e. get a PhD), that was too rigorous, nepotistic and expensive. I also explored Nursing, Social Work, Law and by the time recession hit I settled and got an associate in accounting (nearly 4.0 GPA) in only one year at my local community college.

The problem is that, experience is paramount in accounting, especially at the paraprofessional level. And I lacked any. While I thought about studying for CPA, I slowly realised that accounting is just too dry and boring. And besides, most accounting can, and will be done, for cheap overseas and by the disposable temps.

Anyway, it's almost 2011, and I am still a cashier at the same store. Now with the three college diploma. By practicing extreme frugality I paid off several thousand of dollars I had in student debt. Still, tuition and fees costed me about fifteen thousand , and three times more the taxpayers.

And at my small retail store, we also have an English, an Architecture and an Engineering major working as cashiers or shift supervisors . Personally, I try to stay content with my job and focus on its positives: union health benefits, long time friendly customers, no work to take home etc...

And while, I feel somewhat more refined, as a human being than before going to college, 60K+ price tag and over 200 college credit hours is way too high price to pay to satisfy my vanity!

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Great comment, Serge! Thanks for sharing it.

Lita Perna said...

Times have changed. My degree opened doors for me, enabled me to fulfill a dream and expanded my horizons. It’s hard for me to imagine what my life would have been like without it. These days, a 4 year college education costs more and is less valuable.
Instead of opening doors it is a trap of debt and deferred dreams.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic: Merry Christmas, Marty.

A. Roberts

Marty Nemko said...

Thank you, A. Roberts. You, too.

R J said...

This problem doesn't afflict only the U.S.A., alas. In Canada they have a saying, "Toronto has the best-educated taxi drivers in the world."

Jamient said...

My problem is I have the computer and organizational skills to be a wonderful administrative assistant but many of the job postings I see require a BA. Why? Because they use a degree to eliminate candidates. So I'm going for my degree but I'm doing 2 years at community college and then transferring to a Cal State. I'll probably leave with around 10k in debt, but I think it will be worth it.

Marty Nemko said...

If it were me, before spending two years on education that I was obtaining merely to get a piece of paper, I'd try to talk my way into a job, cold contacting tons of employers. You could do that in a tiny fraction of time required to get a degree--and it costs zero.

Shawn said...

If there were no such thing as disparate impact law suits, employers would not be afraid to simply hire the most qualified as a result of standardized test results.

Anonymous said...

If I can learn everything about Economics from a pretty lady on youtube for FREE, why would anybody in his/her right mind spend a fortune to learn the same from a fat old, ugly looking, grey haired bald professor at an American college/university. It just doesnt make sense anymore. Colleges, professors and books are fast going the way of the dinasour.

 

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