Is College Worth It? YES – for most

Lot’s of people are jumping onto the question of the value of college education.  In a just released book titled “Is College Worth It?: A Former United States Secretary of Education and Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education” the former secretary of education asserts that the promise of education has been broken.

          Data from the US Department of Labor shows that the conclusions the authors draw in the BUZZ Today quote simply are not true.   Source:   Department of Labor careeronestop
The graph shown here shows that for every level of education, higher levels  of education result in both lower unemployment and higher income for most graduates.  Note that the median is the point where one half of the group is above the value and one half is below.  The conclusion has to be that for most students, higher levels of education result in higher economic benefit to the learner.  Buzz Today Source:   Washington Times – Is College Worth It? book review:   William J. Bennett and David Wilezol’s “Is College Worth It?” asks and authoritatively answers one of life’s biggest questions.  It provides a thoroughgoing deconstruction of the “of course it is” delusion. It turns out that for too many, and maybe even most of our young people, the answer to this central question is, sadly, “no.” “Whether the standard of excellence for higher education is cultivating the mind and the soul or maximizing financial return on investment, most of higher education fails most students,” the authors write.   The Department of Labor data shown here is unambiguous.  For every increase in education level obtained the unemployment goes down and the income goes up.   Under no line of reasoning can one conclude from this data that higher education fails most students. Instead of the sweeping claims that associate degree holders earn more than bachelor degree holders (shown not true in the data above) or that the ROI on an education investment is not worth it financially, the discussion needs to focus on what a student needs to do to make sure that they get the best return on their personal investment. The Practical Guide on how to do that is what Your Future is Calling is about. Instead of making headline grabbing general statements about all and every, we need to be helping individual higher education students make better decisions about their own career choices, college majors and universities that they attend.  This can only be done with specific objective data about the choices each individual faces.


College Grads May Be Stuck in Low-Skill Jobs (from the Wall Street Journal)

It is little wonder that you may be confused about getting your degree.  Headlines like those above, combined with the continuous din about student loan debt, add confusion rather than clarity.   It doesn’t help that this particular piece appeared in the highly respected Wall Street Journal.   Buzz TodaySource:  The Wall Street Journal:  Better-educated workers still face far better job prospects than their less-educated counterparts. The unemployment rate for Americans with at least a bachelor’s degree was 3.8% in February (2013), compared with 7.9% for those with just a high school diploma. College-educated employees also tend to earn more and advance more quickly even when they are in fields that don’t require a degree. 

Don’t be confused. Student debt is a real issue. The federal government is the lender of the guaranteed student loans.  Interest rates on such loans are relatively high and those interest rates are potentially going to double this summer if Congress does not take action to hold the current rate.  In addition, federal student loans are virtually forever since they cannot be discharged under bankruptcy laws.

But we will examine student loans in detail on another day.  For now we need to look at the headline of the article and the data in that article as reported in the BUZZ Today here.

Under any scenario, what the data shows is that earning a degree gives you a far better shot at having a job, advancing more quickly and earning more over a lifetime career than not having a degree.

These results are critical to your decision about whether to get a degree or not get a degree.  From this basic decision, your challenge is to make wise choices about what to study, how your studies relate to specific careers, where to go to school, how to get the most favorable tuition, how to finance your education.  For the data on these important decisions you need an easy to understand road map about where to get that important data and how to use it.  For that, I recommend that you go directly to “Your Future is Calling”.