A B.A., not a high school diploma is the new threshold degree

7 Feb

Laura Pappano reports in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s

Call it credential inflation. Once derided as the consolation prize for failing to finish a Ph.D. or just a way to kill time waiting out economic downturns, the master’s is now the fastest-growing degree. The number awarded, about 657,000 in 2009, has more than doubled since the 1980s, and the rate of increase has quickened substantially in the last couple of years, says Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. Nearly 2 in 25 people age 25 and over have a master’s, about the same proportion that had a bachelor’s or higher in 1960.

Several years ago it became very clear to us that master’s education was moving very rapidly to become the entry degree in many professions,” Dr. Stewart says. The sheen has come, in part, because the degrees are newly specific and utilitarian. These are not your general master’s in policy or administration. Even the M.B.A., observed one business school dean, “is kind of too broad in the current environment.” Now, you have the M.S. in supply chain management, and in managing mission-driven organizations. There’s an M.S. in skeletal and dental bioarchaeology, and an M.A. in learning and thinking.

The Pew Research Center has a report, Is College Worth It? Amanda Paulson of the Christian Science Monitor has a great article, Does Everyone Need A College Degree? Maybe Not Says Harvard Study about a new Harvard study.   

A new report released by Harvard Wednesday states in some of the strongest terms yet that such a “college for all” emphasis may actually harm many American students – keeping them from having a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood and a viable career.

The American system for preparing young people to lead productive and prosperous lives as adults is clearly badly broken,” concludes the report, “Pathways to Prosperity” (pdf).

Harvard has quite a bit of press about the report. Jill Anderson has written the press release, Pathways to Prosperity Seeks to Redefine the American Education System which is at the Harvard site. The point of the report is whether there should be a variety of post-high school paths and not just the focus on a B.A. Still, there should be post-high school training which would provide additional skills.

Alexander Eichler is reporting in the Huffington Post article, Many With Only High School Degree Laid Off During Weak Recover:

Among those Americans with only a high school degree who have lost a job since 2007, a third became unemployed after the official end of the recession, according to The Washington Post.

It’s a troubling statistic in its own right — job seekers without a college degree are having serious difficulty finding work in the current market, and the unemployment rate for high school graduates is more than twice that of college grads — but it also underscores the fact that, for many Americans, the recovery hasn’t felt very different from the recession that preceded it.

Economists consider the Great Recession to have ended in the summer of 2009, nearly three years ago. That’s the point when the economy stopped outright shrinking and began growing again. But the subsequent period of modest expansion has been marked by job cuts, uncertainty and a gradual erosion of financial security for many Americans. These conditions are expected to remain pronounced for a long time to come.

U.S. employers cut 529,973 jobs in 2010, according to the outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas. In 2011, that number rose to 606,082. At the same time, wages and benefits barely grew, with the high jobless rate giving employers little incentive to pay workers more. Today, there are still nearly 13 million Americans looking for work.

It’s not that life has gotten much better for those with a job either. All together, median household incomes have now fallen more in the recovery than they did during the recession.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/07/jobless-recovery_n_1260678.html?ref=email_share

A one size fits all approach does not work. Those who do not seek additional training after high school, whether high school or vocational school are at a competitive disadvantage in the global economy. See, The International Baccalaureate program and vocational students https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/the-international-baccalaureate-program-and-vocational-students/

Resources:

A publication by the government Why Attend College? Is a good overview

Article in USA Today about gap year

gap year articles

Advantages of Going to a Vocational School

Vocational School Accreditation

Accredidating Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

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