What a College Degree Guarantees

There is a lot of chatter these days about college degree holders who can’t find a job. The implication is that somehow a promise has been broken.  The implied promise is that getting a college degree should assure the graduate employment.

So the key question is:  “What does a college degree guarantee?”

The answer: Nothing.  There are no guarantees in life so why should a college education be any different?.

The important fact is that an increasing number of college graduates with degrees are unable to get a good job.  For our conversation here the important thing to examine is what this is all about and even more important, what you can do about it.   Buzz Todayfrom:  The Wall Street Journal North Carolina’s new governor, Pat McCrory said “he is concerned that many college graduates can’t get decent jobs.  The problem he suggested, might be that many academic disciplines have no practical applications”… The truth is, Elite universities, such as University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are doing a disservice when they lead students into majors with few, if any, job prospects. 

In another post I talked about the fact that today about 15% of taxi drivers in America are college degree holders.  This is up from about 1% in 1970.

Some say that what this means, is that while it once was the case that earning a college degree was “worth it”, it no longer is the case.  Not true.  What is different today from jobs in 1970, is that it is harder to get a good job period.

In this difficult job market, a more important question is: “what degrees from what universities are the degreed taxi cab drivers?”

What is clear is that today it is more important than ever to make sure that the investment in a college degree is in the right area of study – areas that are directly linked to new opportunity in the rapidly changing global economy.  What is different is that the world is changing ever faster and it is not a good personal strategy to just get any college degree.

For those of you considering earning your bachelor degree, what matters is which degree you get from which university.  The one certainty today is that simply earning a college degree is not a guarantee to a financially productive career.  This increases the importance of choosing the right degree from the right university before you even begin studying.   Resources to do this are in my forthcoming book “Your Future is Calling”.