College Degree? Great. What Can You DO?

Any pug can go to college, but don’t bet on impressing employers unless you can do something they need.

As a college-educated retiree, I can tell you that a four-year college degree is not now, and for decades has not been, a reliable path to high-paying employment.

The scandal of tuition inflation (fueled in part by government subsidies) is only compounded by the lack of capacity for independent research and analytical thinking a typical graduate has when the cap and gown get tossed into the closet, and the grad gets tossed into the job market.

(To be fair, most of them enter college without those skills, or with those skills seriously underdeveloped, because their K-12 public education has concentrated on sociopolitical indoctrination at the expense of basic skills — reading, writing, math, reasoning and research.)

The rapid pace of change in Information Technology, and its pervasive effect at every level of everyday life, certainly changing the way business is done, means that a specific skill set that is in demand halfway through a college student’s four-year education track, and which may influence his choice of major, may well be obsolete by the time that same student graduates.

In fact, a technology in high demand when this year’s crop of freshmen graduate from college in 2017, may not even have a name, now, much less a defined curriculum that makes a grad attractive to a prospective employer. How many incoming freshmen in the fall of 2007 thought they should be learning how to write smart phone apps?

While the four-year graduate is still flying a touch-screen cash register for Apu, at the Springfield Kwik-E-Mart, living in Mom’s basement, and wondering where the money to pay his hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans is coming from, his more-adaptive contemporary, a student who left college in his sophomore year — or even with high-school diploma — has entered the job market with the ability to adapt as the job market changes, and to TEACH HIMSELF new skills ,as well as to absorb new developments in his existing skills.

By the time the “dropout” is a successful entrepreneur, or well up the ladder in a thriving business, the college grad will just be showing up on his doorstep, asking for an entry-level job, and not bringing much to recommend him. And, his student loan payments will still be due.
While he works nights in Apu’s emporium, he will need to struggle through some shady online college, incurring even more student loan debt,  and hope that he can use those skills before they go obsolete, to make better money, someday.

 
“So, you’ve got a BA in Poly Sci, with a minor in Women’s Lit? Great. Set me up for $30 on Pump 4, will ya? Is that coffee fresh?”

Kwik-E-Mart

“So, college grad, huh? Hang up that cap and gown, and get me some coffee.” (Photo Courtesy of The Simpsons at Wikipedia — Thanks, Apu!)

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One Response to “College Degree? Great. What Can You DO?”

  1. silver price Says:

    The more serous complaint may be that SAT scores and GPAs are not effective measurements anyway, and success in college is not a determinate of success in life, or the job market either.

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