“Nowadays, apprentices are members of a production force as they train on the job and in the classroom. Their apprenticeship agreements set out the work processes in which they are to be trained and the hours and wages for each training period. At the end of their apprenticeship, they receive certificates that are similar to the diplomas awarded the engineering graduates of universities.”
“If my kids were still college-age, I think I’d try to get them into a union apprentice program. Because if you’re not connected to the one percent job network, I don’t think a college diploma is a sure thing anymore and student loans mean being a debt slave for the rest of your life. But that’s just me.
I’m also torn by the fact that some degrees are more equal than others. It seems brutal to expect high school kids to suppress their talents and dreams to try to fit some more career-worthy mold. For instance, not everyone has the kind of skills that would make them good engineers or computer scientists. But if we’re forcing students onto certain career paths because they’re the only way they can ever afford to go to college in the first place, it doesn’t seem quite… American to me. After all, we’re humans, not car parts.”
Does today’s bachelor’s degree promise only that we’ll be able to scrape by as a waiter/waitress, retail clerk or receptionist during the decade-plus that it will take us to pay off our student loans?
What do college degrees really offer in this new economy?
As reported in the Huffington Post, U.S. student loan debt hit $1 trillion dollars this quarter – and the number keeps rises with the college enrollment of each American student not to-the-manor born.
“According to government projections released last month, only three of the 30 occupations with the largest projected number of job openings by 2020 will require a bachelor’s degree or higher to fill the position – teachers, college professors and accountants. Most [future] job openings are in professions such as retail sales, fast food and truck driving – jobs which aren’t easily replaced by computers.”
Further, David Neumark – an economist at the University of California-Irvine – says, “Even for lower-skilled jobs such as waitress or cashier, employers tend to value bachelor’s degree-holders more highly than high-school graduates, paying them more for the same work, and offering promotions.“
After analyzing the numbers, Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University says, “Simply put, we’re failing kids coming out of college.”
The bottom line of accumulated U.S. college degree/employment data shows that most Americans acquiring a bachelor’s degree will be faced with costly tuition, debilitating debt, and increasingly fewer jobs resulting from – amid other factors – staggering debt, an unsustainable lifestyle, and a downturn economy projected by the U.S. Comptroller General & most leading economists to have small chance of recovery to America’s past standards of prosperity.
Do you think the expense of college will be worth it in this new economy?
Or is apprenticeship the way to go?
Will you be attending yourself, or sending your kids to college?
Why? / Why not?