After doing some more research on both well-respected and not so well-respected websites, it seems that the general consensus about the education bubble today is that going to college will only be worth it if you are aiming for a professional degree. The emphasis at most 4-year universities is not only to teach necessary job skills but also to teach critical thinking and the general “college experience”–including broad academic growth and life skills such as time management. All of those extras obtained at college are certainly worth it for pre-professional students–who will ultimately need these skills to succeed at the next level–but not for someone just going for a 4-year, liberal arts degree. In short, universities now aren’t teaching enough raw job skills to justify paying so much more for tuition; it would be much more beneficial for those without aspirations of a professional degree to attend community or vocational schools and learn the other necessary skills as they go–certainly not ideal, but very practical in the midst of rising tuition and student loan costs.
As a college student who is finishing up his second year of “gen-eds”, I can definitely see the wisdom in this recommendation; if I were to drop out of college right now and start looking for a job, I feel as though I would be less prepared now than I was after high school…the value of practical job skills in this economy seems
infinitely more beneficial than the value of knowing organic chemistry. Obviously, having taken these gen eds will eventually pay off, but for now I’m left wondering what I have really learned how to do in college thus far.
The video which helped inform me about the economic repercussions of a non-professional college education was found on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAwBN2Q8L14) and the article appealing to college-aged kids was found on Forbes (http://news.yahoo.com/bursting-the-higher-education-bubble–why-college-shouldn’t-matter.html).