This is a difficult year for graduates of colleges and universities all across America, with the high unemployment rate, and arguably the worst economic outlook that we have seen in many decades.
Not only are college graduates faced with a daunting challenge to find work that is relevant to their degrees. It is also the issue of finding any work at all.
But additionally, there is the growing debt faced by college graduates and graduate students, which can be the equivalent of a mortgage on a house, and set back the future of a graduate, and even more of couples who wish to marry, but face a dual debt of both to pay off, making it hard to see a future in the middle class.
So many have speculated that a college degree is not worth it, that learning a skilled trade is better, and that the value of a college education is overrated.
The answer to these assertions is to state that it is a terrible burden that college graduates face, but in the long run, it has been shown that they do earn higher salaries and have greater satisfaction in their work lives.
Additionally, having a college education allows someone to learn lots of things that expand one’s horizons, create new interests and hobbies, which are important for a full life.
Socially, one learns how to analyze, evaluate, debate, solve problems, and learn how to disagree agreeably during a college experience.
Having an education exposes people to others who are different and makes one more tolerant and open minded, not so quick to pass judgment based on hysteria or emotion.
Education is the way to promote a free society, and democracy, and fulfills the Jeffersonian idea of an America where over time, social and economic mobility are possible.
It is hard to imagine anyone who has been exposed to college who would argue that he or she gained nothing from the experience, and there are many intangibles that cannot be seen or understood at the time, but enrich our lives long term.
So to tell a young person, or even an older person, NOT to pursue higher education, is a fallacy and a fraud that undermines the long term future of individuals and American society!