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The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The American Mindset: College, is it necessary?

The American Mindset: College, is it necessary?

Alexa Rosas | Staff Writer

College, in most high schooler’s lives, appears to be required, because with out it a good job and a secure financial future go out the window. But the questions arises: Is college a good investment? According the article “The College Bubble,” written by Megan McArdle, as college becomes more and more financially unattainable, it is also becoming increasingly useless.

“For years the focus was ‘You have to go to college to get a good job,’ but that’s no longer the case,” counselor Shar Huffman said, “There are careers that don’t require a college degree that are very financially secure. Students have a lot of options now.”

By analyzing average salaries and job growth the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce named several jobs that pay over $41,000 in yearly salaries. These jobs include: manufacturing sales representatives, telecommunication equipment installer, insurance sales agents, construction and building inspectors, plumbers, pipe fitters, steamfitters, dry wall tapers, electricians, commercial pilots, brick and block masons and finally, pile-driver operators.

“People are different, and those abilities can be shaped,” economist James Heckman said. “That’s what we’ve learned, and public policy should recognize that.”

It seems to be that as college and the benefits that it provides inflates the value of work and real world knowledge has fallen.

“It’s about having and mentors and a workplace-based education…Time and time again I’ve seen examples of these kind of programs working,” Heckman said.

For some college is still a good investment, but with the cut throat competition it is no longer the key to a stable income.

“Students are finding that the bachelor’s degree isn’t what it used to be,” Huffman said, “You almost need a master’s in things such as business.”

The options available for college graduates very much depends on ones selected major.

College has become a questionable life choice for high schoolers, especially because the cost seems to go up. Having them think is it worth it?

“It’s very easy to spend four years majoring in English Literature…and come out no more employable than you were before you went in,” McArdle said, “Chemical engineers straight out of school can easily make triple or quadruple the wages of an entry-level high-school graduate.”

Being aware of society and the direction in which it is headed is also very important to consider in deciding if you will attend college and even more critical when choosing your major.

“A college education isn’t important, it’s the status that is important. If you can get into and afford to go to a private university then you hold the advantage,” said sophomore Andrew Brown.

The skills that are supposed to be gained by a college education mean nothing in the face of a certificate stating your intelligence.

“College students can buy themselves a four-year vacation in an increasingly well upholstered resort,” McArdle said.

College tuition sends families spiraling into debt and for what? The cost of educations is second to the cost of gourmet food, fun and useless niceties.

“‘Even with these high prices, you’re still finding a return for individuals who are bright and motivated,’” Heckman said, “But on the other hand if you’re not ready than it’s not worth it.”


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The American Mindset: College, is it necessary?