Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Good News from HuffPo! "It’s Worth Getting a College Degree But Don’t Expect the World, Okay?"

by Hamilton Nolan

It's well known by now that you can spend outrageous sums to get a college degree only to find yourself jobless, through no real fault of your own. But it's also well known that college degrees are a decent bet, statistically speaking. I guess what the latest report is saying is: We ain't promising you the moon, okay?

Yes, college degrees are worth it, but they're no guarantee you won't wind up screwed. They just lessen your chances of winding up totally screwed. A new study out of Georgetown University is the latest to reconfirm this. Yes, you're mired in student debt and underemployed; but look on the bright side.

The Misery.

The Unreadable Diagram:


  1. HuffPo, like Yahoo News and Wikipedia, is proof positive that when just anyone can report news, just anyone does. Recently a physics major asked me about a science story in HuffPo that didn't make much sense. I just explained, "Their science coverage is terrible. But then, what do you expect from a news source that runs girly pictures?"

  2. This one got picked up by NPR, too. While I'm not fond of the instrumental view of college, I suppose it's good news (though I suspect that all it really proves is that, in a crowded job market, employers can ask for whatever they want, and the presence of a BA or AA on a resume makes for an easy sorting mechanism when an employer is faced with hundreds or thousands of resumes).

    Still, if the story takes even a little bit of heat off higher ed, and puts the focus back on structural, 99% vs. 1% issues, I'll be pleased.

    On the flip side, this may send more people to college who would, perhaps, be better served by some sort of vocational/technical ed, an apprenticeship, or just making the minimum wage a living wage. There's lots of janitorial, food service, child care, etc. work out there that needs to be done, and that makes the lives of dual-income families farther up the wealth ladder possible, and recognizing the hard work of those who do such labor with a living wage is only decent.


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