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The Higher Education Dilemma

Updated on March 30, 2013

Does a college education required? It seems that all parents automatically expect their kids to go to college whether they are ready or want to. It seems like dogma. Maybe it is more about the parents leaving this gift to their kids- a free ride to get a degree and then-get a job and join the world.

But, as we all know today, today is different. It is an economy stumbling around like a drunk while debt is at record levels. Not all college degrees equal success and high pay. There millions with degrees working at jobs they normally would not have sought. Everyone reading this probably knows of a few college grads working for $10 hr. or looking.

If you pick the wrong major due to what interests you, you might be one them. Psychology majors with degrees often are in that dilemma, so are Environmental Studies majors and many others. According to a recent study, those with a B.A. or B.S degree average $72,000, those with just a high school education, $42,000, those with an A.A. (two year) earn $51,000, while those with just some college but no degree are around $48,000.

A degree in Political Science might put you in the dilemma of only finding part-time work doing clerical work. But, even some with M.B.A, and to a lesser degree, a law degree, are finding themselves in the same predicament. Those grads not working, after a while, return to school, spend thousands more to get the higher degree for an edge in the job market.

In other words, there is a serious glut of college educated people looking for a job or a better job. The person you see waiting to be interviewed may have a Master's, yet the interviewer may have no college, just experience in years. Would they prefer experience over education? Probably, depending on the job.

The study showed that the demand for college level occupations- managers, professionals and technical workers peaked in 2000 and has been declining since. Now, even the low level skill jobs often are done by college degreed people. They have displaced those with no degree who use to get the jobs. Eventually, the lowest skilled are pushed out of the job market all together.

For example, experience does not always triumph today. A person with no college yet with 10+ years experience could easily lose in getting a job to a college grad with no experience. This may happen even if you had an A.A. degree.

But it all depends on the company culture, the competition, and the manager who interviews you. Add to this cocktail the subtle discrimination of age, gender, appearance. The job seeker will never really know why they did not get the job.


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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thanks, keep reading.

    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 

      5 years ago

      You made some great points in this hub. I voted up, interesting and awesome along with pinning and tweeting.


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