Tag Archives: Why Go to College?

Pew Research: College education increases income potential

1 Oct

Moi wrote about the decision to go to college in Why go to college? Sam Davidson has written an interesting New York Times article, It’s the Economy: The Dwindling Power of a College Degree:

A general guideline these days is that people are rewarded when they can do things that take trained judgment and skill — things, in other words, that can’t be done by computers or lower-wage workers in other countries. Money now flows around the world so quickly, and technology changes so fast, that people who thought they were in high demand find themselves uprooted. Many newspaper reporters have learned that their work was subsidized, in part, by classified ads and now can’t survive the rise of Craigslist; computer programmers have found out that some smart young guys in India will do their jobs for much less. Meanwhile, China lends so much money to the United States that mortgage brokers and bond traders can become richer than they ever imagined for a few years and then, just as quickly, become broke and unemployed.
One of the greatest changes is that a college degree is no longer the guarantor of a middle-class existence. Until the early 1970s, less than 11 percent of the adult population graduated from college, and most of them could get a decent job. Today nearly a third have college degrees, and a higher percentage of them graduated from nonelite schools. A bachelor’s degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability. To get a good job, you have to have some special skill — charm, by the way, counts — that employers value. But there’s also a pretty good chance that by some point in the next few years, your boss will find that some new technology or some worker overseas can replace you.
Though it’s no guarantee, a B.A. or some kind of technical training is at least a prerequisite for a decent salary. It’s hard to see any great future for high-school dropouts or high-school graduates with no technical skills. They most often get jobs that require little judgment and minimal training, like stocking shelves, cooking burgers and cleaning offices. Employers generally see these unskilled workers as commodities — one is as good as any other — and thus each worker has very little bargaining power, especially now that unions are weaker. There are about 40 million of these low-skilled people in our work force. They’re vying for jobs that are likely to earn near the minimum wage with few or no benefits, and they have a high chance of being laid off many times in a career.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/magazine/changing-rules-for-success.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

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

Amanda Paulson of the Christian Science Monitor wrote a great article, Does Everyone Need A College Degree? Maybe Not Says Harvard Study about a 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). http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news_events/features/2011/Pathways_to_Prosperity_Feb2011.pdf
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0202/Does-everyone-need-a-college-degree-Maybe-not-says-Harvard-study

Marcus Wohlsen of AP has posted the article, Tech Mogul Pays Bright Minds Not to Go to College at Boston.Com. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2011/05/30/tech_mogul_pays_bright_minds_to_skip_college/ Wohlsen reports that tech tycoon Peter Thiel has set up a scholarship which two dozen gifted young people $100,000 not to go to college but to become entrepreneurs for the next two years. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/
Pew Research reported that college graduates make more income for a number of reasons.

Richard Fry wrote about the income potential of college graduates in The growing economic clout of the college educated:

For the first time on record, households headed by someone with at least a bachelor’s degree received nearly a majority (49.7%) of aggregate U.S. household income; nearly one out of every two dollars went to the college educated. In 2012 one-in-three households was college educated, so, put another way, half of the aggregate U.S. income goes to one third of the households.
In 1991 (the earliest year comparable figures are available) college-educated households only received 37% of the nation’s aggregate income. In 1991 about one-quarter of households (23%) were college educated.
The share of the income pie received by households with only a high school education or less fell 15 percentage points from 1991 to 2012. The share of household income going to households with some college (including those with an associate’s degree) increased modestly over the same period (23% to 25%).
Since educational attainment has risen and there are more college-educated households, one would expect the college educated to receive a growing share of the pie.
But the data clearly indicate that the growing economic fortunes of the college educated go beyond sheer numbers. College-educated households are the only households whose incomes have grown on a per household basis from 1991 to 2012. Household income increased 9% (from $92,289 to $100,637) for those whose highest education was a bachelor’s degree. Incomes were up 20% for households with professional degrees. In contrast, household incomes have declined for households who do not have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Before breaking down the nitty-gritty of the college-educated households’ income gain, it should be noted that a number of factors are likely at play in boosting the household incomes of the college educated relative to less-educated households. A primary factor is the better fortunes of the college educated in the labor market. The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce finds that college graduates earn nearly twice as much as workers with just a high school diploma.
But the household income differences between the college educated and lesser educated go beyond the labor market. College-educated households are more likely to be married and thus more likely to have secondary earners contributing to household income.

In addition, my research on “assortative mating” or “who marries whom” shows that married college-educated persons are more likely to have a college-educated spouse. Thus, they are more likely to have a spouse with high earnings. For example, in 2011, 75% of married men ages 30 to 44 who are college educated also have a college-educated wife. Among their married counterparts with a high school education, only 17% have a college-educated wife.
Between 1991 and 2012, the aggregate household income of college-educated households increased by $2.1 trillion according to the Census data. Over the same period, the share of all households who are college educated increased from 23% to 33%. How much of the $2.1 trillion income gain received by the college educated is due to growth in numbers versus growth in income per college-educated household? If the fraction of households who are college educated had remained constant at 23%, instead of rising to 33%, the income pie going to the college educated would only have grown by $0.8 trillion. So, over half of the income gain of the college educated is due growth in numbers. But a substantial portion reflects their improving income fortunes. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/24/the-growing-economic-clout-of-the-college-educated/

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. Accredidation 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/

‘Dual education’ is coming to America

3 Jun

The Economist story Ein neuer Deal? Germany’s vaunted dual-education system is its latest export hit describes Germany’s dual education system:

URSULA VON DER LEYEN, Germany’s labour minister, likes to point out that the two European Union countries with the lowest unemployment, especially among the young, have dual-education systems: Austria and Germany. Like Switzerland, they have a tradition of combining apprenticeships with formal schooling for the young “so that education is always tied to demand,” she says. When youths graduate, they often have jobs to walk into.

With youth unemployment in Germany and Austria below 8% against 56% in Spain and 38% in Italy, Mrs von der Leyen has won Europe’s attention. Germany recently signed memoranda with Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain to help set up vocational-education systems. Mrs von der Leyen discussed the topic in visits to Madrid in May and to Paris this week. There is even talk of a “new deal” for Europe, including bringing youths from crisis-hit countries to work in Germany and making more loans.

Germany is best known in euro-zone countries for its macroeconomic prescriptions of austerity and structural reform. So it helps politically that it should now be seen assisting people in those countries into jobs. But does its dual-education system deserve so much credit, and should other countries adopt it?

Although based on older traditions, it formally dates from 1969. Youths not interested in, or qualified for, university sign up for a programme in which they work three or four days a week for a firm that pays them and teaches relevant skills. The rest of the time they spend in school, completing mostly specialised courses. Chambers of commerce and industry associations make sure that the work and the teaching are matched. After three years or so, trainees are certified and, if they make a good impression, may stay as full-time workers.

About two in three young Germans go through this system and into about 350 careers. Some end up in blue-collar jobs, others in sales and marketing, shipping and agriculture, or pharmacology and accounting. The practical nature of the education is an advantage, as is the mutual screening between potential employers and employees during training.

Yet the system existed in the 1990s, when Germany was the “sick man of Europe” and had high unemployment. German success today surely owes more to its labour-market and welfare reforms of a decade ago and to unions’ wage restraint. In an ageing and shrinking population, demography also helps, as fewer German graduates choose among more open jobs.

Ludger Wössmann, an economist at the Ifo Institute in Munich, suggests that vocational education can have bad side effects. In his research, countries that combined school and work-based education (Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland) did much better at getting young people into jobs. But early training can turn into a disadvantage by the age of 50. It appears that skills learnt in vocational training “become obsolete at a faster rate.” Low youth unemployment today may thus come at the cost of higher old-age unemployment tomorrow.

Related topics

The Career Technical Education Foundation (CTEF) has a good synopsis of “dual education.”

In Dual System of Education, CTEF explains:

What is the dual system of education supported by industry for career academies with an internship/apprenticeship model?  Two partners share the responsibility for education and training.  The Career Academy assumes the responsibility for teaching the required curriculum content including theory and practical application.  Industry provides the career academy financial support and the training necessary to familiarize the trainee with the technological and organizational aspects of the work processes within the company.

Advantages of the Dual System for the Industry partner:

  • Secures the skilled labor needed

  • Reduces the costs to train for positions within the company

  • Increases motivation and loyalty to the company

  • Trainee receives job specific qualifications

  • Productive performance of trainee

Advantages of the Dual System for the Student:

  • Recognized Industry Certification

  • Increased prospects for employment upon completion

  • Theory and practical application of curriculum

  • Certain degree of independence through an “earn while you learn” program

Financing of the Dual System of Education and Training

  • Industry partners who provide training contribute the largest share

  • Perkins and other District funding as available from State and Federal Agencies Grants

  • Dual System of Education and Training provides the opportunity for the successful Career Academy Graduate to:

    • Earn Industry Certification and/or

    • Earn college credit upon successful completion of each course while attending the Career Academy

    • Apply to the University of their choice
      or

    • Earn Industry Certification

    • Enter gainful employment either with their own training company or another company

    • Continue education process by:

      • Working with the training company 3.5 days/week

      • Attending University or Continuing Education facility 1.5 days/week with company assistance where needed until coursework completed.

To read more please visit the Executive Summary Page

http://careertechedfoundation.org/workforce-development/dual-system-of-education/

As with any education system, there are advantages and disadvantages.

The 2006 article, Dual system is singular success which was published in Times Higher Education reports:

For all its success, the policy is not without its problems. As in Britain, universities were at first loath to recognise an alternative form of higher education. They have been reluctant to give adequate recognition to AMK graduates on university masters programmes.

Employers are anxious about an oversupply of graduates, and they and others claim that some aspects of technical and vocational education are neglected. The relationship with the municipalities and regions is not always smooth, and there is a high dropout rate.

Maintaining a dual system in Finland has been made more difficult by the success of the policy and of the Bologna Process. When AMKs were established, they were the only institutions that offered bachelors degrees; since Bologna, most Finnish universities do. AMKs now also offer masters programmes, although they are mostly part-time schemes for mature students. But some universities are also entering this market. The dual system is thus challenged by “vocational drift”. The challenge for the polytechnics – and for the Government – is to maintain the distinction between the broad aims of the two sectors while recognising that a difference of purpose does not necessarily imply a difference of status. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/206872.article

The United States is also looking a different education formats.

Moi wrote in The International Baccalaureate program and vocational students:

There is an “arms race” going on in American Education. More people are asking whether college is the right choice for many. The U.S. has de-emphasized high quality vocational and technical training in the rush to increase the number of students who proceed to college in pursuit of a B.A. Often a graduate degree  follows. The Harvard paper, Pathways to Prosperity argues for more high quality vocational and technical opportunities:

The implication of this work is that a focus on college readiness alone does not equip young people with all of

the skills and abilities they will need in the workplace, or to successfully complete the transition from adolescence

to adulthood. This was highlighted in a 2008 report published by Child Trends, which compared research on the competencies required for college readiness, workplace readiness and healthy youth development. The report found significant overlaps. High personal expectations, self-management, critical thinking, and academic achievement are viewed as highly important for success in all three areas. But the report also uncovered some striking differences. For instance: while career planning, previous work experience, decision making, listening skills, integrity, and creativity are all considered vital in the workplace, they hardly figure in college readiness.http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news_events/features/2011/Pathways_to_Prosperity_Feb2011.pdf

There is a reluctance to promote vocational opportunities in the U.S. because the is a fear of tracking individuals into vocational training and denying certain groups access to a college education. The comprise could be a combination of both quality technical training with a solid academic foundation. Individuals may have a series of careers over the course of a career and a solid foundation which provides a degree of flexibility is desired for survival in the future. See, Why go to college? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

Michael Alison Chandler is reporting in the Washington Post story, New college-prep IB program could be offered to technical students about giving vocational students the opportunity to participate in the International Baccalaureate program. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/new-college-prep-ib-program-could-be-offered-to-technical-students/2011/11/21/gIQAareS6N_story.html

https://drwilda.com/2011/11/29/the-international-baccalaureate-program-and-vocational-students/

There shouldn’t be a one size fits all in education and parents should be honest about what education options will work for a particular child. Even children from the same family may find that different education options will work for each child.

Resources:

Vocational Education Myths and Realities

http://www.fape.org/idea/How_it_works/voced_myths_8.html

Vocational Education in the United States, The Early 1990s

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/web/95024-2.asp

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/

Brookings paper: Is college a good investment?

10 May

Moi wrote about the decision to go to college 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 CollegeStout 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 CollegeSome 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

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).

Marcus Wohlsen of AP has posted the article, Tech Mogul Pays Bright Minds Not to Go to Collegeat Seattle PI.Com. Wohlsen reports that tech tycoon Peter Thielhas set up a scholarship which two dozen gifted young people $100,000 not to go to college but to become entrepreneurs for the next two years.

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano is reporting in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s

See, Is a ‘gap year’ a good option for some students?

https://drwilda.com/2012/10/08/is-a-gap-year-a-good-option-for-some-students/

Julia Lawrence writes a about a Brookings paper which asks whether college is a good investment in the Education News article, Brookings: College Degrees Aren’t a Foolproof Investment:

Stephanie Owen and Isabel V. Sawhill attempt to answer a deceptively simple question in the latest paper for the Brookings Institution: is college a good path for all American high school graduates? Owen and Sawhill – who is the co-director of the Brookings’ Center on Children and Families, Budgeting for National Priories and a Senior Fellow on Economic Studies — try to determine if the return on investment in a college degree still warrants the expense, the risk and the time in every circumstance.                                                        http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/brookings-investing-in-college-degree-isnt-foolproof/

Here is the press release from Brookings:

Should Everyone Go To College?

By: Stephanie Owen and Isabel V. Sawhill

May 8, 2013

For the past few decades, it has been widely argued that a college degree is a prerequisite to entering the middle class in the United States. Study after study reminds us that higher education is one of the best investments we can make, and President Obama has called it “an economic imperative.” We all know that, on average, college graduates make significantly more money over their lifetimes than those with only a high school education. What gets less attention is the fact that not all college degrees or college graduates are equal. There is enormous variation in the so-called return to education depending on factors such as institution attended, field of study, whether a student graduates, and post-graduation occupation. While the average return to obtaining a college degree is clearly positive, we emphasize that it is not universally so. For certain schools, majors, occupations, and individuals, college may not be a smart investment. By telling all young people that they should go to college no matter what, we are actually doing some of them a disservice.

The Rate of Return on Education

One way to estimate the value of education is to look at the increase in earnings associated with an additional year of schooling. However, correlation is not causation, and getting at the true causal effect of education on earnings is not so easy. The main problem is one of selection: if the smartest, most motivated people are both more likely to go to college and more likely to be financially successful, then the observed difference in earnings by years of education doesn’t measure the true effect of college.

Researchers have attempted to get around this problem of causality by employing a number of clever techniques, including, for example, comparing identical twins with different levels of education. The best studies suggest that the return to an additional year of school is around 10 percent. If we apply this 10 percent rate to the median earnings of about $30,000 for a 25- to 34-year-old high school graduate working full time in 2010, this implies that a year of college increases earnings by $3,000, and four years increases them by $12,000. Notice that this amount is less than the raw differences in earnings between high school graduates and bachelor’s degree holders of $15,000, but it is in the same ballpark. Similarly, the raw difference between high school graduates and associate’s degree holders is about $7,000, but a return of 10% would predict the causal effect of those additional two years to be $6,000.

There are other factors to consider. The cost of college matters as well: the more someone has to pay to attend, the lower the net benefit of attending. Furthermore, we have to factor in the opportunity cost of college, measured as the foregone earnings a student gives up when he or she leaves or delays entering the workforce in order to attend school. Using average earnings for 18- and 19-year-olds and 20- and 21-year-olds with high school degrees (including those working part-time or not at all), Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney of Brookings’ Hamilton Project calculate an opportunity cost of $54,000 for a four-year degree. In this brief, we take a rather narrow view of the value of a college degree, focusing on the earnings premium. However, there are many non-monetary benefits of schooling which are harder to measure but no less important. Research suggests that additional education improves overall wellbeing by affecting things like job satisfaction, health, marriage, parenting, trust, and social interaction. Additionally, there are social benefits to education, such as reduced crime rates and higher political participation. We also do not want to dismiss personal preferences, and we acknowledge that many people derive value from their careers in ways that have nothing to do with money. While beyond the scope of this piece, we do want to point out that these noneconomic factors can change the cost-benefit calculus.

As noted above, the gap in annual earnings between young high school graduates and bachelor’s degree holders working full time is $15,000. What’s more, the earnings premium associated with a college degree grows over a lifetime. Hamilton Project research shows that 23- to 25-year-olds with bachelor’s degrees make $12,000 more than high school graduates but by age 50, the gap has grown to $46,500 (Figure 1). When we look at lifetime earnings—the sum of earnings over a career—the total premium is $570,000 for a bachelor’s degree and $170,000 for an associate’s degree. Compared to the average up-front cost of four years of college (tuition plus opportunity cost) of $102,000, the Hamilton Project is not alone in arguing that investing in college provides “a tremendous return.”

It is always possible to quibble over specific calculations, but it is hard to deny that, on average, the benefits of a college degree far outweigh the costs. The key phrase here is “on average.” The purpose of this brief is to highlight the reasons why, for a given individual, the benefits may not outweigh the costs. We emphasize that a 17- or 18-year-old deciding whether and where to go to college should carefully consider his or her own likely path of education and career before committing a considerable amount of time and money to that degree. With tuitions rising faster than family incomes, the typical college student is now more dependent than in the past on loans, creating serious risks for the individual student and perhaps for the system as a whole, should widespread defaults occur in the future. Federal student loans now total close to $1 trillion, larger than credit card debt or auto loans and second only to mortgage debt on household balance sheets.

More from Brookings

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

  2. Article in USA Today about gap year

  3. gap year articles

  4. Advantages of Going to a Vocational School

  5. Vocational School Accreditation

  6. Accredidation Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology

  7. The Federal Trade Commission has Choosing A Career Or Vocational School

  8. How to Choose a Vocational School

  9. How to Choose The Best Trade School
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/

Georgetown University study: Even in a depression, college grads enjoy advantage

15 Aug

In Borrowing from work: Schools teach career mapping Moi said:

One of the goals of education is to give the student sufficient basic skills to be able to leave school and be able to function at a job or correctly assess their training needs. One of the criticisms of the current education system is that it does not adequately prepare children for work or for a career. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/ A liberal arts education has been considered the gold standard. Moi wrote 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 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 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    https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/Georgetown University has released a study that finds a college degree gives an advantage, even during times of recession.

Here is the press release for the Georgetown University study, The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm:

COLLEGE GRADUATES LEAD NATIONAL JOB GROWTH RECOVERY, NEW GEORGETOWN STUDY FINDS

— Study Also Finds That the College-Wage-Advantage has Held up Well Over Time —

Washington, D.C., August 15, 2012 – A new study released today by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce finds that almost half of the jobs lost in the recession that began in December, 2007 have been recovered and virtually all of those jobs required some form of postsecondary education. Experts say this data demonstrates the ongoing importance of education beyond high school for individual workers and our national economy.

The wage advantage for workers with a bachelor’s degree or better over high school has remained high and has held mostly stable at 97 percent. The wage premium for bachelor’s degrees or better relative to high school degrees skyrocketed from 44 percent in 1981 to a 100 percent in 2005 and has only fallen to 97 percent since the beginning of the recession.

It is a tough job market for college graduates but far worse for those without a college education,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, the Georgetown Center’s director and co-author of the report. “At a time when more and more people are debating the value of postsecondary education, this data shows that your chances of being unemployed increase dramatically without a college degree.”

The Georgetown study shows that in 2012, seven percent of graduates with a bachelor degree or better are still unemployed and another 14 percent are underemployed in jobs beneath their skill levels. By comparison, the unemployment rate for new high school graduates is 24 percent and 42 percent for those individuals are underemployed.

Jobs that require bachelor’s degrees have been the big winner, increasing by 2.2 million jobs since the recession began. Those jobs that required some college or an associate’s degree declined by 1.8 million in the recession but have regained 1.6 million of those job losses since the recovery began in 2010. At the same time 5.8 million jobs for those with high school or less have been lost since the recession began.

In the mid 1970s, less than 30 percent of jobs in America required any education beyond high school,” said Jamie P. Merisotis, president and chief executive officer of Lumina Foundation. “Today, the majority of U.S. jobs require a postsecondary degree or credential. This shift has happened quickly and it demonstrates how vital college attainment is to individual success and our nation as a whole.”

Industries that are postsecondary education intensive, held up best since the recession began. But, there were differences during recession and recovery.

Professional and business services lost college jobs during the recession but that sector has already added over 730,000 college jobs during the recovery.

Government jobs held up during the recession (adding nearly 80,000 college jobs), but collapsed during the recovery due to budget cuts (so far 14,000 college jobs have been lost since the recovery began in January 2010).

Since the recession began, the healthcare industry has added over one million jobs for people with two-year and four-year college degrees.

Even in low skill blue collar sectors, which took the brunt of the recession, college educated workers were favored. For example, in manufacturing, employment dropped 15 percent for people with high school diplomas and only one percent for those with bachelor’s degrees or better. In construction, employment dropped 25 percent for those with high school diplomas and only two percent for workers with a bachelor’s degree or better.

The recession and recovery have affected college men and women differently.

Male college workers were hardest hit during the recession due to private sector job losses. But men led the recovery, including the recovery in the market for college graduates (adding 2.3 million college jobs).

In both the recession and during the recovery, the female labor market shifted decisively toward jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree, having added 1.6 million jobs.

Findings also show that the rate of college enrollment jumped sharply, peaking in 2009 but has fallen off rapidly since then. The recession, however, was a college wake-up-call for men. After lagging behind for decades, since 2006 the rate of increase in male enrollment has caught up and slightly surpassed the rate of increase in female enrollment.

The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm is comprised of a full report and an executive summary; both documents are available online at http://cew.georgetown.edu/collegeadvantage.

# # #

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce is an independent, nonprofit research and policy institute that studies the link between individual goals, education and training curricula and career pathways. The Center is affiliated with the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. For more information, visit: http://cew.georgetown.edu. Follow us on Twitter @CntrEdWrkfrce and on Facebook.

Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation, is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially 21st century students: low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Lumina’s goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change. For more information, log on to http://www.luminafoundation.org

Executive Summary

Full Report

See, In an Economic Storm, a College Degree Is Still the Best Umbrella http://chronicle.com/blogs/headcount/in-economic-storm-a-college-degree-is-still-the-best-umbrella/31187

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano is reporting in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s 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.

Related:

Report: For-profit colleges more concerned with executive pay than student achievement                                                      https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/report-for-profit-colleges-more-concerned-with-executive-pay-than-student-achievement/

Surviving a ‘diploma mill’                                               https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/surviving-a-diploma-mill/

Will a three year B.A. help more students afford college? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/will-a-three-year-b-a-help-more-students-afford-college/

New report takes community colleges to task         https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/new-report-takes-community-colleges-to-task/

Choosing the right college for you                                  https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/choosing-the-right-college-for-you/

Is a business major in college the right move? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/is-a-business-major-in-college-the-right-move/

Producing employable liberal arts grads https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/producing-employable-liberal-arts-grads/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Why go to college?

28 Nov

Adam Davidson has written an interesting New York Times article, It’s the Economy: The Dwindling Power of a College Degree:

A general guideline these days is that people are rewarded when they can do things that take trained judgment and skill — things, in other words, that can’t be done by computers or lower-wage workers in other countries. Money now flows around the world so quickly, and technology changes so fast, that people who thought they were in high demand find themselves uprooted. Many newspaper reporters have learned that their work was subsidized, in part, by classified ads and now can’t survive the rise of Craigslist; computer programmers have found out that some smart young guys in India will do their jobs for much less. Meanwhile, China lends so much money to the United States that mortgage brokers and bond traders can become richer than they ever imagined for a few years and then, just as quickly, become broke and unemployed.

One of the greatest changes is that a college degree is no longer the guarantor of a middle-class existence. Until the early 1970s, less than 11 percent of the adult population graduated from college, and most of them could get a decent job. Today nearly a third have college degrees, and a higher percentage of them graduated from nonelite schools. A bachelor’s degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability. To get a good job, you have to have some special skill — charm, by the way, counts — that employers value. But there’s also a pretty good chance that by some point in the next few years, your boss will find that some new technology or some worker overseas can replace you.

Though it’s no guarantee, a B.A. or some kind of technical training is at least a prerequisite for a decent salary. It’s hard to see any great future for high-school dropouts or high-school graduates with no technical skills. They most often get jobs that require little judgment and minimal training, like stocking shelves, cooking burgers and cleaning offices. Employers generally see these unskilled workers as commodities — one is as good as any other — and thus each worker has very little bargaining power, especially now that unions are weaker. There are about 40 million of these low-skilled people in our work force. They’re vying for jobs that are likely to earn near the minimum wage with few or no benefits, and they have a high chance of being laid off many times in a career.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/magazine/changing-rules-for-success.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

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 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 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

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).

Marcus Wohlsen of AP has posted the article, Tech Mogul Pays Bright Minds Not to Go to College at Seattle PI.Com. Wohlsen reports that tech tycoon Peter Thiel has set up a scholarship which two dozen gifted young people $100,000 not to go to college but to become entrepreneurs for the next two years.

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano is reporting 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.

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.

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.

Follow your passion, and success will follow you.
— Arthur Buddhold

There are no easy answers in the current economic climate.

Resources:

  1. A publication by the government Why Attend College? Is a good overview
  2. Article in USA Today about gap year
  3. gap year articles
  4. Advantages of Going to a Vocational School
  5. Vocational School Accreditation
  6. Accredidation Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology
  7. The Federal Trade Commission has Choosing A Career Or Vocational School
  8. How to Choose a Vocational School
  9. How to Choose The Best Trade School


Dr. Wilda says this about that ©