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BO’s Stupid College Plans

People with college degrees earn a lot more money that people without degrees.   Simply a fact.   So if everybody had a college degree, would everybody earn more money?  No.   However you would have a lot of young people with college debt to repay, but without the college level job to pay off the debt.

College degrees do not get you college level jobs.   All  a degree gets you is an interview.   It is your interview which gets you the job, and it is your job performance which keeps your job.

Further, employess are not looking for college graduate per se.   Rather they looking for specific skill sets, electrical engineer, history teacher, computer programer, etc.    If you have the wherewithall to do say chemical engineering, for all sakes go for it.   However a degree in chemical engineering will not get you a job as chemical engineer unless  can first convince a prospective employer that you do chemical engineering and then you can demonstrate the ability to be a chemical engineer.   Employers are interested in skills sets.    A diploma is only a proxy for a skill set.   I know of engineers without degrees and engineering graduate without engineering positions.

Having said that, I am less than impressed by this:, Justin Pope and Libby Quaid, Associated Press: [1]

In his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, President Barack Obama called for every American to pursue some form of education beyond high school.

To which, I say:  Why?   Sending everybody to college will result in lots under over credentialed, under employed, people with puppy mill deplomas saddled with college debt.

Pursuit of a higher education is at best a complex question, Paul E. Barton, Carnegie Foundation [2]:

Conventional wisdom has it that the demand for workers with college degrees is growing rapidly in the United States and will escalate. But the issue of what job qualifications will be important in the future and for whom is complex, with several threads of argument intertwined. First comes the very important question of how an individual can best prepare educationally to do well in the future labor market. Coupled with that question is the need for citizens to have an equal opportunity to attend and complete college, such access being key to the nation’s major problem of income inequality among racial and ethnic groups. Second is the question of how many college graduates the nation needs to produce, and with what skills, to ensure our national prosperity in an age of rapid technological change, globalization, and strong international competition.

This is to any reasoned mind a complex question.    Simplistic answers, even from the President, especially from the President, simply will not do.  We can and should  expect better from the President.