What’s happening in the US is also occurring in other western countries.
Fewer US students are graduating from high school.
Of those that go to University, one third drop out.
Nearly 60 percent of managers say the University graduates they take in are just not ready for the work force because amongst other things, they cannot even write clearly or organize their time sensibly. Today there is a greater chance of getting a higher grade than in the sixties, especially if they are graded from within their institution, yet a third of students do not demonstrate any improvement in learning.
Mathematics, science and reading levels continue to drop.
Students in the US owe $ 11 trillion on their student loans-more than the US credit card debt.
So the price is rising, the dropouts are high, and the end result is not perfect.
The main actors are: The students and what they study, the universities and what they charge and do with the money, the students and what they end up with.
Perhaps future students should reassess entirely what they plan to study, where and how they will study, and what it will ultimately do for them in terms of income and job satisfaction.
Until now, status has certainly played its part. It’s great for the parent to say “My child has been accepted at XYZ institution, and the fees are really high.” Great. “What is the child going to do?” “We are not sure yet, but ABC general studies sounds good.”
That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
The bottom line is that a post high school qualification in something nebulous is not doing the student any good.
Perhaps the time has come to refocus on a profession and not a generalization.
By profession I mean anything like accounting, engineering, plumbing, electrical, hairdressing – something you can use to do something.
I think the era of generalization has gone. Also, the romantic stories of a college school dropout becoming the world’s greatest whiz kid entrepreneur is motivational, but so is winning the lottery.
I see a trend at many institutions towards increasing the enrolment of foreign students, (nearly 500 000 from Asia alone) primarily because that is their most profitable market segment and we are still mostly capitalists by nature.
The resistance to high prices for less than useful education is however becoming more apparent.
From a potential income to be earned, job satisfaction and a fulfilling life point of view, I think we have reached the turning point for students. Play time is over.
Study for a real job. Work in your field of study while you are busy studying. Keep your costs down by doing the first two years at a community college or by enrolling where possible, in on line education. Consider signing up with those private institutions that focus on specifics like graphic arts or culinary skills or whatever your choice is.
The decision a student takes on what he studies will affect him for the rest of his life.
It’s time to put some serious thought and time into this before taking the plunge.