“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?