Can We Talk?

Will the Higher Education Bubble Burst?

This is a subject near and dear to my heart considering my husband graduated from college (and actually got a job using his degree) and I graduated from college (and didn’t get a job in my degree, but probably could if I tried harder. I would also like to go back to get my Masters’s degree at some point, which is sort of stupid considering I’ve never really used my Bachelor’s degree). We have one son attending a community college and one son on the verge of attending college.

I have mixed feelings about college – on the one hand, you can never have TOO much knowledge and a degree can give you an edge over your competition, BUT, does college really prepare you for the real world? You CAN NOT discount real-world experience and too many times, college graduates may have the education but no experience. Ideally, the perfect candidate for a job would have the education AND the experience.

Going to college doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a high-paying job. Many college graduates think that way. If you go to college, then you have to go with the attitude that you’ll not only have to work hard while IN college, but also finding a job AFTER college. (Can you actually find a job using the degree you’re working towards??) Companies aren’t lined up, breathlessly waiting for you to graduate so they can offer you a six-figure salary. It just doesn’t work that way.

Kevin has spent A LOT of time talking to Dude about the direction of his life. Dude loves computers. He wants to be a gamer. Which, cool. BUT, it’s competitive and there aren’t that many openings for the number of people who want to go that direction. BUT, there are more IT jobs than there are IT people. SO. It might be smarter to concentrate on the IT route, gain some experience that way, and then look for that gamer route using the education AND the experience to get his foot in the door.

So I guess my question is, is college really necessary? What if you just worked really hard at the company of your choice and got promoted to the position you wanted? It’s sort of a gamble, an EXPENSIVE gamble.

Anyway. Our local talk show host highlights local authors every Thursday and he talked with Glenn Harlan Reynolds this past Thursday about his book, “The Higher Education Bubble.” It’s pretty interesting and definitely something to consider before agreeing to pay back thousands and thousands of dollars for something that may, or may not, help you in the future.

Have a listen. [Skip to 5:45 to begin discussion]

(Click the blue arrow to play)