by Katrina Kersch on Tue, 11/15/2011 - 3:08pm 1 comment
There has been a lot of conversation in the news and on the web about the burden on young people who graduate from college with crushing student loans. I cannot help but think that one of the solutions to this problem is to stop selling a college education as the only path to success.
The recent MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers reports that 76% of middle school students say that they plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher. Although only about 28% of these students will actually enter a university or community college, it’s clear that the message that college is the preferred career path has reached our youth. However, according to the book Workforce 2020: Work and Workers in the 21st Century by Richard Judy and Carol D’Amico, only 20% of jobs by 2020 will require a four year degree, while 65% will require an associate’s degree or advanced training.
A college degree is indeed a worthy pursuit, but if there is no job at the end, then what? Providing our
youth with the information they need to make an informed decision about their future is critical, and pushing everyone toward the same goal does not serve our youth or the country.