America must break its “addiction” to bachelor’s degrees and become better acquainted with the financial benefits of one- and two-year degrees and certificates, an education researcher argued at a recent panel discussion about what level of higher education it takes to break into the middle class.
“When you ask people what they think about postsecondary education, they say ‘bachelor’s,’” said Mark Schneider, Vice President and Institute Fellow of the Education Program at the American Institutes for Research, or AIR.
“I think of this as a bachelor’s addiction which has to be broken and has to be changed,” Schneider said. “The contemporary bachelor’s degree takes too long, it’s too expensive and it’s not for everyone.”
Schneider presented wage-earnings data that show various one- and two-year degrees and several certificates enable holders to command salaries that surpass those of some bachelor’s degree holders.
Technical careers are particularly rewarding, Schneider said as he presented figures that show plumbers and technicians in a variety of fields that only require a certificate all earn upward of $71,000 — several thousand dollars more per year than many bachelor’s degree holders — a decade after they complete their educational program.
“Where you learn how to fix things, you win,” Schneider said.
The growth in associate’s degrees and other sub-baccalaureate credentials awarded has also outpaced that of bachelor’s degrees, 39 percent versus 18 percent from 2008 to 2013, respectively, figures provided by Schneider show.
Schneider made his remarks Monday at AIR during a social mobility lecture series titled “Do You Need a Bachelor’s to Join the Middle Class?”
Monday, May 25, 2015
Bachelor's Degree: A Sign of Education, of Seat Time, a Job Credential, or Merely the New HS Diploma?
I've been arguing against "college for all" for years: