I think many (myself included) kind of just wind up at college somehow with little thought in advance as to why we’re there in the first place. There’s elementary school, middle school, high school… college is just kind of the next step in the education process. An expectation for some; a requirement for others. The reason why college is so paramount to parents is because they equate four-year degrees with success and large figure salaries to come in the future. But now, a number of economists, academics, and policy analysts are challenging all this. And experts have some pretty convincing evidence as to why two-year or technical training schools could be a better option for some Americans.
The main argument is that there are just too many people going to college in the first place–many who are unqualified. There is also a large amount of overqualified degree-holders in today’s struggling job market. But there are other major issues dealing with the current state of the economy. Before deciding to imprison yourself in one of these four-year institution, there are factors to take into consideration like rising student debt, stagnant graduation rates and, of course, the high unemployment rate among college graduates.
However some (like concerned parents) argue undergraduate schools provide a wider variety of opportunities and eye-opening experiences that help you become a more worldly, well-rounded person than trade schools. I mean, I think we can all agree that a large part of what we learn in college does not happen in the classroom; it is our environment and our experiences – both that are unique to four-year universities – that teach us many of our life lessons. Others also bring the money factor into the equation, such that college graduates may have the chance at obtaining higher salaries.
But do they? With the economy in the dumps and unemployment rates the highest they’ve been in recent history, does a 4-year degree really mean a more successful future? Maybe not.
What do you think? Do you agree that trade schools might be a better option? Do you think you are getting more out of your traditional, four-year college program?