Tag Archives: declining value of a college degree

Not ready for college, perhaps a gap year is in order

4 Mar

One Tennessee Study found that quite often kids are encouraged to choose college over vocational or trade options. The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media. http://www.tennessee.gov/education/cte_council/doc/career_college_advice.pdf

Pros and Cons of Going to A Four Year College

A. Five Reasons to Go to College

Chris Stout lists Top Five Reasons to Go to College

1.The undergraduate degree is the new high school diploma
There was once a time when college was entirely optional. Even today, smart, hard working people can develop excellent careers and stable lives without the aid of a university education. College is by no means mandatory, but when you’re ready to start building a career for yourself, you will increasingly discover that a college degree is a prerequisite for many entry-level employment opportunities….
2.College will satisfy and expand your curiosity
If you possess a general curiosity about how and why the world works the way it does, then you owe it to yourself to attend college. Education is a personal project. If you want to develop your mental faculties and increase your knowledge base, then you have to college. If you feel that you’ve learned all you possibly can in high school, if you think that there’s nothing else that you need to absorb, then don’t go to college. If you have a passion for improved understanding, then college is mandatory.
3.College is a process of continual maturation
College is freedom. When you attend college, you are free to live on your own, according to your own priorities. As you carve out your own custom tailored living and learning experience, you can’t help but grow as a person. College is a time for self-improvement and development, so if you want to grow and mature as an individual, college is the perfect playground for self-progress.
4.College is all about networking
In college, you have the unique ability to create life-long associations in a structured environment. Networking is important, but it can also be difficult. If you want to build relations with students and faculty members, you have to put forth effort. Unlike the real world, in college, it’s easy to combine your individual interests with supportive allies who subscribe to those same interests. Take advantage of this environment and build up relationships that will help you in the future.
5.College exposes you to things you would not normally experience
When you set about choosing your path through life, it’s important to remember that finding yourself is as much a process of elimination as it is a process of discovery. Just as you seek out interests and identities, you need to rule out certain life-options and mental frameworks that you do not agree with. College exposes you to new risks, rewards, people, places, ideas, lifestyles, eating habits and career choices. Exposure is critical. You can’t form a genuine opinion on something if you’ve never been exposed to it. College is a place for you to improve yourself, to satiate your curiosities, to mature, to network, and to be exposed to new things. College is an important, irreplaceable experience in life. Going to college is highly recommended. http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-Five-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Choose-To-Go-To-College&id=384395

Stout places the emphasis on the college experience and the fact that college is not just a place for possible career training.

B. Five Reasons Not to Go to College

Forbes. Com published Five Reasons Not to Go to College

1. You’ll be losing four working years.
There’s an opportunity cost associated with going to college: Not only will you lose the money you’ll have spent on tuition, you’ll also be out the amount of money that you could have made if you’d worked during those four years. And if your family isn’t wealthy enough to pay for your education on their own, you’ll also owe a hefty amount in interest payments for your student loans. Perhaps more importantly, with four years of experience on your resume, you’ll be far better off when looking for work than the average 22-year-old college graduate.
2. You won’t necessarily earn less money.
College grads earn an average 62% more over the course of their careers than high school grads. But economist Robert Reischauer of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., argues that those numbers are skewed by the fact that smarter kids are more likely to go to college in the first place. In other words, the profitability of higher education is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
3. In fact, you could probably make more money if you invested your tuition.
Put $160,000–the approximate cost of a Harvard education–into municipal bonds that pay a conservative 5%, and you’ll have saved more than $500,000 in 30 years. That’s far more than the average college grad will accumulate in the same amount of time.
4. You don’t need to be in a classroom in order to learn something.
Truly motivated learners can teach themselves almost anything with a couple of books and an Internet connection. Want to learn a hands-on skill or trade? Consider an apprenticeship.
5. Plenty of other people did fine
Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Quentin Tarantino, David Geffen, and Thomas Edison, among others, never graduated from college. Peter Jennings and John D. Rockefeller never finished high school. http://www.forbes.com/2006/04/15/dont-go-college_cx_lh_06slate_0418skipcollege.html

Some people discover their passion earlier in life than others. Forbes.Com addresses its comments at those folks. The calculation is that if one already knows what they want to do, college could be an unnecessary detour.

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment.

Alternatives to a Four Year College Degree

Great Schools has a concise overview of various options should a child decide they do not want to go from high school to a four year college. What if Your Teen Wants to Skip College http://www.greatschools.org/college-prep/alternatives/660-what-if-your-teen-wants-to-skip-college.gs There are several options. Options include a gap year, trade school, vocational school, community college, and for some the military. The only option that should be off the table is to do nothing.

Victor Lukerson wrote the excellent Time article, Gap Year: The Growing Appeal of Not Going Right to College:

About 1.2% of first-time college freshmen choose to defer enrollment for a year, according to the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. What these students choose to do with their time varies widely, from expensive study abroad programs, to volunteer programs like City Year, to staying at home and saving up for college.
“In 1980, no one was talking gap year,” says Holly Bull, the president of The Center for Interim Programs, a company that offers parents and students consulting in choosing the appropriate gap year program. “I’ve watched this whole concept go basically from its inception to present day. I wouldn’t call it mainstream, but there’s way more awareness and support and colleges are now beginning to endorse it as a really positive thing.”http://moneyland.time.com/2012/10/05/gap-year-the-growing-appeal-of-not-going-right-to-college/#ixzz28eFKj1Ce

According to Kirk Carapezza of NPR more students are taking a gap year. Carapezza reported in the story, Mind The Gap (Year): A Break Before College Might Do Some Good http://www.npr.org/2014/02/27/283533644/mind-the-gap-year-a-break-before-college-might-do-some-good?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=storyshare

Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. The trades may offer some a means to earn a living and a fulfilling life.
A one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

Resources:
1. A publication by the government Why Attend College? Is a good overview http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/Prepare/pt1.html

2. Article in USA Today about gap year http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-06-18-gap-year_N.htm

3. Advantages of Going to a Vocational School http://www.gocollege.com/options/vocational-trade-schools/

4. Accreditation Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology http://www.accsc.org/Resources/Links.aspx

5. The Federal Trade Commission has Choosing A Career Or Vocational School http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0241-choosing-vocational-school

6. How to Choose The Best Trade School http://www.ehow.com/how_2107557_choose-best-trade-school.html

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

ABA task force proposes sweeping changes to legal education

23 Sep

Moi has been posting about whether a degree is the best option. In Why go to college?
The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media.
Chris Stout lists Top Five Reasons to Go to College http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-Five-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Choose-To-Go-To-College&id=384395
Stout places the emphasis on the college experience and the fact that college is not just a place for possible career training. Forbes. Com published Five Reasons Not to Go to College http://www.forbes.com/2006/04/15/dont-go-college_cx_lh_06slate_0418skipcollege.html Some people discover their passion earlier in life than others.Forbes.Com addresses its comments at those folks. The calculation is that if one already knows what they want to do, college could be an unnecessary detour. A US News and World Report article estimated the value of a college degree http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2008/10/30/how-much-is-that-college-degree-really-worth
https://drwilda.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

The calculation for pursuing a professional degree is different. One must not only look at personal satisfaction, but earning potential.

Tamar Lewin reported in the New York Times article, Task Force Backs Changes in Legal Education System:

Faced with rising student debt and declining applications to law schools, a task force of the American Bar Association is calling for sweeping changes in legal education, including training people without law degrees to provide limited legal services and opening the bar to those who have not completed four years of college and three years of law school.
The report, to be issued on Friday, does not refer specifically to President Obama’s suggestion last month that law schools might limit classes to two years, and have students spend their third year clerking or practicing in a firm. But it did recommend the elimination of the rules that law students must have 45,000 minutes in a classroom to graduate and that they cannot get credit for field placements that are paid.
The report describes an urgent need for change in the nation’s legal education.
“The system faces considerable pressure because of the price many students pay, the large amounts of student debt, consecutive years of sharply falling applications, and dramatic changes, possibly structural, in the jobs available to law graduates,” it said. “These have resulted in real economic stresses on law school, damage to career and economic prospects of many recent graduates, and diminished public confidence in the system of legal education.”
It called the predicament of the many recent graduates who may never get the kind of jobs they anticipated “particularly compelling.”
The report is still a draft, to be distributed for comment, then considered at the bar association’s 2014 meeting. If adopted there, it will be influential but not binding on either law schools or state bar associations.
Randall T. Shepard, the former Indiana chief justice who was chairman of the task force, said that within the group, the most controversial sections were those dealing with how legal education is financed and with the accreditation standards.
The report criticizes the practice of most law schools to provide little aid to needy students, reserving most of their scholarships for those with the highest credentials in part to help raise the school’s rankings. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/education/task-force-backs-changes-in-legal-education-system.html?ref=education

Here is the press release from the ABA:

News > ABA News > ABA News Archives > 2013 > 09
ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education issues draft report on proposed reforms to pricing, accrediting and licensing
« Experts predict more divided decisions when Supreme Court takes on controversial cases in new term
Experts from architect, contractor groups to discuss federal P3 projects, aging infrastructure at ABA event »
ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education issues draft report on proposed reforms to pricing, accrediting and licensing
By John Glynn
CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2013 — Stating that the system of legal education in the United States is widely admired around the world but faces serious challenges, the American Bar Association Task Force on the Future of Legal Education today issued its draft report with recommendations.
Key proposals call for changes in the pricing of legal education, liberalizing or eliminating certain accreditation standards, and speeding the pace of innovation and practical-skills training at law schools. The draft also calls on courts and bar authorities to devise new frameworks for licensing legal service providers.
“The Task Force believes that if the participants in legal education continue to act in good faith on the recommendations presented here, with an appreciation of the urgency of coordinated change, significant benefits for students, society, and the system of legal education can be brought about quickly, and a foundation can be established for continuous adaptation and improvement,” the draft report states.
The Task Force is soliciting public comment on the draft that will help the panel prepare a final report for consideration by the ABA House of Delegates. Neither the draft report nor the final report represents the policy or positions of the ABA.
“While the Task Force is not finished with its work, this draft report represents our effort thus far to formulate solid proposals to ensure that legal education in the United States remains viable in light of substantial economic and structural changes,” said Task Force Chair Randall T. Shepard, former chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court.
“We look forward to receiving additional public comment to supplement the hearings and comments process that we have conducted over the last year,” Shepard continued. “Our goal is to produce a final report that will be as comprehensive and effective as possible while taking into account all the views that came to our attention.”
Said ABA President James R. Silkenat: “Legal education in the United States is the best in the world, but it must continue to evolve to match the rapid changes that are taking place in legal practice in the United States. The Task Force’s draft report was informed by a thoroughly open process, which is important, given the gravity and complexity of the issues. The draft report represents the hard work and broad-based inquiry that ABA leadership expected from our insightful Task Force members, who represent a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
“We are grateful for the Task Force’s continuing efforts under the leadership of Justice Shepard,” Silkenat continued. “Thanks to the Task Force’s work, the legal community will be able to have a full, engaged discussion with all stakeholders concerning the future of legal education. This is a topic that is critical to our profession and essential to the delivery of legal services in the United States.”
The Task Force was commissioned in July 2012 by then-ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III and supported by ABA leadership, including Silkenat and Immediate Past President Laurel G. Bellows.
To prepare the draft report and recommendations, the Task Force reviewed literature on problems and solutions. It met throughout the year to review and test potential solutions, accelerating its original timetable in light of the seriousness of the developing challenges to legal education in the United States.
The Task Force solicited written comments from interested parties starting in September 2012, held two public hearings and conducted a webcasted mini-conference in April 2013, to which various knowledgeable parties were invited to share information and perspectives.
In addition, the Task Force chair met with the leadership of the Association of American Law Schools and conducted a forum for deans of ABA-approved law schools. The chair and other Task Force members held forums at the annual meeting of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation and the Conference of Chief Justices.
The report is available online here, http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/images/news/PDF/draft_report_of_aba_task_force_september_2013.pdf
or at the Task Force website. http://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility/taskforceonthefuturelegaleducation.html
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. To review our privacy statement click here. Follow the latest ABA news at http://www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.
This entry was posted on Fri Sep 20 01:00:00 CDT 2013 and filed under News Releases and Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Whether a person chooses to attend a graduate or professional school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with degree.

A one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

Related:

Should colleges be career schools? Saving the liberal arts education
https://drwilda.com/2013/01/02/should-colleges-be-career-schools-saving-the-liberal-arts-education/

Brookings paper: Is college a good investment?
https://drwilda.com/2013/05/10/2784/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Is a gap year a good option for some students?

8 Oct

One Tennessee Study found that quite often kids are encouraged to choose college over vocational or trade options.  The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media.

Pros and Cons of Going to A Four Year College

A.     Five Reasons to Go to College

Chris Stout lists Top Five Reasons to Go to College

1.The undergraduate degree is the new high school diploma

There was once a time when college was entirely optional. Even today, smart, hard working people can develop  excellent careers and stable

lives without the aid of a university education. College is by no means

mandatory,  but when you’re ready to start building a career for

yourself, you will increasingly discover that a college degree is a

prerequisite  for many entry-level employment opportunities…. 

2.College will satisfy and expand your curiosity

If you possess a general curiosity about how and why the world works the way it does, then you owe it to yourself to attend college. Education is a personal project. If you want to develop your mental faculties and increase your knowledge base, then you have to college. If you feel that you’ve learned all you possibly can in high school, if you think that there’s nothing else that you need to absorb, then don’t go to college. If you have a passion for improved understanding, then college is mandatory.

3.College is a process of continual maturation

College is freedom. When you attend college, you are free to live on your own, according to your own priorities. As you carve out your own custom tailored living and learning experience, you can’t help but grow as a person. College is a time for self-improvement and development, so if you want to grow and mature as an individual, college is the perfect playground for self-progress.

4.College is all about networking

In college, you have the unique ability to create life-long associations in a structured environment. Networking is important, but it can also be difficult. If you want to build relations with students and faculty members, you have to put forth effort. Unlike the real world, in college, it’s easy to combine your individual interests with supportive allies who subscribe to those same interests. Take advantage of this environment and build up relationships that will help you in the future.

5.College exposes you to things you would not normally experience

When you set about choosing your path through life, it’s important to remember that finding yourself is as much a process of elimination as it is a process of discovery. Just as you seek out interests and identities, you need to rule out certain life-options and mental frameworks that you do not agree with. College exposes you to new risks, rewards, people, places, ideas, lifestyles, eating habits and career choices. Exposure is critical. You can’t form a genuine opinion on something if you’ve never been exposed to it.  

  College is a place for you to improve yourself, to satiate your curiosities,   to mature, to network, and to be  exposed to new things. College is an   important, irreplaceable experience in life. Going  to college is highly   recommended.

Stout places the emphasis on the college experience and the fact that college is not just a place for possible career training.

B.    Five Reasons Not to Go to College

Forbes. Com published Five Reasons Not to Go to College

1. You’ll be losing four working years.

There’s an opportunity cost associated with going to college: Not only will you lose the money you’ll have spent on tuition, you’ll also be out the amount of money that you could have made if you’d worked during those four years. And if your family isn’t wealthy enough to pay for your education on their own, you’ll also owe a hefty amount in interest payments for your student loans. Perhaps more importantly, with four years of experience on your resume, you’ll be far better off when looking for work than the average 22-year-old college graduate.

2. You won’t necessarily earn less money.

College grads earn an average 62% more over the course of their careers than high school grads. But economist Robert Reischauer of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., argues that those numbers are skewed by the fact that smarter kids are more likely to go to college in the first place. In other words, the profitability of higher education is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

3. In fact, you could probably make more money if you invested your tuition.

Put $160,000–the approximate cost of a Harvard education–into municipal bonds that pay a conservative 5%, and you’ll have saved more than $500,000 in 30 years. That’s far more than the average college grad will accumulate in the same amount of time.

4. You don’t need to be in a classroom in order to learn something.

Truly motivated learners can teach themselves almost anything with a couple of books and an Internet connection. Want to learn a hands-on skill or trade? Consider an apprenticeship.

5. Plenty of other people did fine

Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Quentin Tarantino, David Geffen, and Thomas Edison, among others, never graduated from college. Peter Jennings and John D. Rockefeller never finished high school. 

Some people discover their passion earlier in life than others. Forbes.Com addresses its comments at those folks. The calculation is that if one already knows what they want to do, college could be an unnecessary detour.

Economic Value of A College Degree

A US News and World Report article estimated the value of a college degree

As the price of a college degree continues to rise, there’s growing evidence that the monetary payoff isn’t quite as big as often advertised. The best estimate now is that a college degree is worth about $300,000 in today’s dollars—nowhere near the $1 million figure that is often quoted. “That $1 million number has driven me crazy!” says Sandy Baum, a Skidmore economist who studied the value of a college degree for the College Board last year. Baum’s research showed that college graduates earn, on average, about $20,000 a year more than those who finished their educations at high school. Add that up over a 40-year working life and the total differential is about $800,000, she figures. But since much of that bonus is earned many years from now, subtracting out the impact of inflation means that $800,000 in future dollars is worth only about $450,000 in today’s dollars. Then, if you subtract out the cost of a college degree—about $30,000 in tuition and books for students who get no aid and attend public in-state universities—and the money a student could have earned at a job instead of attending school, the real net value in today’s dollars is somewhere in the $300,000 range, a number confirmed by other studies. But, especially these days, that still makes a college degree one of the most lucrative investments a person can make, Baum notes.

Better yet, college graduates can go on to earn advanced degrees, which return even bigger payoffs. The average holder of a bachelor’s degree earns about $51,000 a year, Baum calculates. But those who’ve gone on to earn MBAs, law degrees, or other professional degrees earn about $100,000 a year.

As the price of a college degree continues to rise, there’s growing evidence that the monetary payoff isn’t quite as big as often advertised. The best estimate now is that a college degree is worth about $300,000 in today’s dollars—nowhere near the $1 million figure that is often quoted. 

The article also mentions some of the non-monetary rewards of attending a four year college. The Wall Street Journal in a 2008 article at published at the beginning of the economic downtown describes declining value of a college degree

A variety of economic forces are at work here. Globalization and technology have altered the types of skills that earn workers a premium wage; in many cases, those skills aren’t learned in college classrooms. And compared with previous generations, today’s college graduates are far more likely to be competing against educated immigrants and educated workers employed overseas.

The issue isn’t a lack of economic growth, which was solid for most of the 2000s. Rather, it’s that the fruits of growth are flowing largely to “a relatively small group of people who have a particular set of skills and assets that lots of other people don’t,” says Mr. Bernstein. And that “doesn’t necessarily have that much to do with your education.” In short, a college degree is often necessary, but not sufficient, to get a paycheck that beats inflation.

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment.

Alternatives to a Four Year College Degree

Great Schools has a concise overview of various options should a child decide they do not want to go from high school to a four year college. What if Your Teen Wants to Skip College There are several options. Options include a gap year, trade school, vocational school, community college, and for some the military. The only option that should be off the table is to do nothing.

Victor Lukerson has written the excellent Time article, Gap Year: The Growing Appeal of Not Going Right to College:

About 1.2% of first-time college freshmen choose to defer enrollment for a year, according to the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. What these students choose to do with their time varies widely, from expensive study abroad programs, to volunteer programs like City Year, to staying at home and saving up for college.

In 1980, no one was talking gap year,” says Holly Bull, the president of The Center for Interim Programs, a company that offers parents and students consulting in choosing the appropriate gap year program. “I’ve watched this whole concept go basically from its inception to present day. I wouldn’t call it mainstream, but there’s way more awareness and support and colleges are now beginning to endorse it as a really positive thing.”http://moneyland.time.com/2012/10/05/gap-year-the-growing-appeal-of-not-going-right-to-college/#ixzz28eFKj1Ce

Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. The trades may offer some a means to earn a living and a fulfilling life.

A one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

Resources:

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

Article in USA Today about gap year

gap year articles

Dr. Wilda says this about that

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©  http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©          http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/