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Don't Buy The Hype, College Education Is Not An Investment
Forbes ^ | 06/15/2013 | George Leef

Posted on 06/15/2013 9:33:38 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Hardly a day goes by without the publication of articles on the plight of recent college graduates. Large numbers are either unemployed or employed in jobs that don’t call for any academic preparation. Many are struggling with the burden of their college loans.

In addition, the educational value of college is questionable. In their book Academically Adrift, sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa concluded that more than a third of recent college graduates had coasted through without adding anything to their human capital. Reports that employers often find graduates applying for jobs to be weak in basic skills are numerous.

Nevertheless, higher education boosters continue to proclaim that college is undoubtedly “worth it” and “still a good investment.” A recent study by the Public Policy Institute of California is a good example of this sort of thinking. It purports to show that earning a college degree “remains a good investment.”

The technique of this study (and dozens like it) is to compare average earnings of workers who have college degrees with average earnings of workers who don’t and conclude that because the first group does significantly better, having gone to college was a good investment. The degrees are regarded as causing the “earnings premium.”

That analysis is extremely misleading. The most glaring flaw is that it draws a conclusion about future conditions (earnings that people who go college now can expect) from data based on earnings for college graduates going decades back. Conditions today, both with regard to college academic rigor and the labor market, are much different than they were 40 years ago.

If college degrees were regulated investment opportunity, it would have to bear standard warning that past performance is no guarantee of future performance. The future won’t be similar to the past for many college graduates

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Society
KEYWORDS: college; investment

1 posted on 06/15/2013 9:33:38 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Problem is, many jobs have “college degree required” on the application, even if its not really needed to do the job.


2 posted on 06/15/2013 9:38:10 AM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Gone Galt, 11/07/12----No king but Christ! Don't tread on me!)
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To: SeekAndFind
The degree fetish is a cargo cult.

In days of yore, it was hard to get into college and harder to graduate. Therefore, the process selected for delayed gratification smart hard workers.

Natürlich, they made more $$.

Just as it wasn't the airstrips that made goodies come to Micronesia, it's not the degrees that make the $$.

My first roommate in medical school did not have sufficient reading ability to follow the work.

If you give a frog an M.D., it doesn't make him a doctor.

Now that everyone goes to college and everyone gets a degree, it should not be a surprise that a degree no longer predicts success.

3 posted on 06/15/2013 9:39:31 AM PDT by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I was recently submitted by my headhunter for a high level job. I was required to take a four hour test that really didn’t cover anything beyond percentages, fractions, division, logic problems and some grammar. Naturally I asked the headhunter why they had such a high level position taking this test. He told me that this test eliminated many college graduates and since instituting it the company’s turnover had been cut in half.


4 posted on 06/15/2013 9:42:11 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Gen.Blather

A test that every applicant has to take removes subjectivity and, coincidentally, grounds for discrimination lawsuits.


5 posted on 06/15/2013 9:54:15 AM PDT by EDINVA
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To: SeekAndFind

This is one of the better analyses I’ve read. There never has been a “guarantee”, but 30 or 40 years ago, the odds favored increased lifetime earnings for the typical graduate entering the typical career. Today, things are quite different.


6 posted on 06/15/2013 9:59:35 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: SeekAndFind

Yes, successful performance is all that matters for every job selection and promotion..............in make believe land.


7 posted on 06/15/2013 10:48:53 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: EDINVA
A test that every applicant has to take removes subjectivity and, coincidentally, grounds for discrimination lawsuits.

Not hardly. Not if the test produces disparate impact on protected groups. Which is why companies don't give IQ tests anymore, though statistically they are by far the best indicator of future effectiveness on the job.

8 posted on 06/15/2013 10:54:12 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

“Problem is, many jobs have “college degree required” on the application, even if its not really needed to do the job.”

That’s because getting a high school diploma means virtually NOTHING today, because virtually nothing is required, at least at many high schools. Colleges (at least accredited ones) still have some standards left.


9 posted on 06/15/2013 10:54:55 AM PDT by BobL (To us it's a game, to them it's personal - therefore they win.)
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To: Jim Noble
At a minimum, a degree is a certification that you are capable of starting and completing something. It may have little absolute value, but in today's America, that simple achievement is something of which many are totally incapable.
10 posted on 06/15/2013 11:05:40 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: SeekAndFind

Why is it that the people who write articles on the lack of value of a college education are all college educated? I’ll be a dollar this guy doesn’t work with a bunch of people who only finished high school, nor does he associate with them during his free time.


11 posted on 06/15/2013 11:17:10 AM PDT by stormer
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To: Sherman Logan

The test he was referring to was mostly “percentages, fractions, division, logic problems and some grammar.” That heavy emphasis in math tends to be pretty objective, especially if basic math skill is required to perform the job. How does one argue that 5 x 4 = 20 or 1/4 of 20 = 5 is subjective/discriminatory? Not that some huckster wouldn’t try.


12 posted on 06/15/2013 12:25:49 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd
Problem is, many jobs have “college degree required” on the application, even if its not really needed to do the job.<

When I graduated in 1966 the degree was important since without the sheepskin, one did not get an interview. It opened doors. Could be the same thing going on now.

13 posted on 06/15/2013 2:23:13 PM PDT by OldPossum
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To: Sherman Logan
Not hardly. Not if the test produces disparate impact on protected groups. Which is why companies don't give IQ tests anymore, though statistically they are by far the best indicator of future effectiveness on the job.

Exactly. See the Supreme Court case Griggs v. Duke Power. That decision changed everything.

Mr. Griggs was black and obviously discriminated against by mean ol' Duke Power. And the Supremes bought it.

14 posted on 06/15/2013 2:28:21 PM PDT by OldPossum
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To: Jim Noble
The degree fetish is a cargo cult.

Ooh. I like that analogy. Good point.

15 posted on 06/15/2013 4:27:46 PM PDT by BfloGuy (Don't try to explain yourself to liberals; you're not the jackass-whisperer.)
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