Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is College "Worth It"?

Maybe, maybe not.

6 comments:

Ellen K said...

My husband, who is in sales and has been for years, has always made more than me. He only went to college for one year. I have a degree. I am sure in some fields having a degree is the entry ticket, but frankly, being a machinist, an electrian, an HVAC repair tech or a plumber is far more lucrative. My cousin, who learned plumbing while in prison for pot back in the 1970's, has his own contracting business and will retire a millionaire in a couple of years. I won't retire for ten years and get a paltry pension. He and I are the same age.

neko said...

Ellen K,

There is a lot of money to be made in crap. Why do you think we have so many politicians? ^_^

mazenko said...

Jon Stossel (as annoying as he is) makes an excellent point in this piece. Currently 70% of high school graduates go on to college, though only 40% of those earn the degree. Nationwide, only 30% of Americans have a degree. Thus, society is doing a great disservice to students by emphasizing the "necessity" of college. My school has a "policy" that 100% of students will apply and be accepted to college, even if they don't go. There is no requirement that all kids apply to tech schools or consider the military, and it is based on a bias toward a college degree that a majority of kids don't actually need.

Ellen K said...

That is because the onus is on all schools to send all students to college. Not all students are meant for or desire to attend college. In the meantime, while bureaucrats in government and school administration buy more and more electronic gizmos, they are gutting vocational programs across the board. It's time to consider a program where students who want to go to college can take a true rigorous college prep program and those who do not can get instruction that will provide them with a meaningful livelihood. Four by Four-an initiative where ALL student take four years of science and four years of math will come to full fruition next year when end of course testing comes into play. After failing the precal test a couple of times, kids will simply elect to get GED's and move on. Will we be able to say we gave them an education that will help them succeed? Or did we simply placate legislators and such who think that mandating change will cause change?

Anonymous said...

Forbes ran a recent article with the same basic theme.

Unfortunately, from what I know of it, I think it is safe to say that vocational education is all but dead in K-12 here in California. Reviving any kind of meaningful vocational education in that sector would be very costly, and would take years to show significant positive results.

Again, from what I know, I think I can say that vocational education at the CC/JC level is in better health. Unfortunately for students here in California, K-14 is usually funded from the same source, so the turf war for apportionment dollars gets in the way of meaningful reform-- for example, allowing secondary students to pursue vocational training at a local CC/JC while still enrolled in high school.

PeggyU said...

I went to school and got a math degree. Can't say it has been particularly useful to me, except in tutoring others who occasionally ask for help. One of my brothers, OTOH, went to a trade school and got his diesel mechanic certification. He worked repairing machines for a local mining company and put himself through engineering school with his earnings. So, he has himself covered employment-wise. I would advise all students to go through a vocational program first, then attend a four-year college if they still are motivated to do so.