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If it costs money, then it has a break even point. In college’s case, it is the point where the cost of tuition meets the potential income you can gain from the knowledge you are learning. We hear all the time about the cost of tuition rising, and in some cases students are rioting in the streets.
I meet people everyday with a bachelor’s degree who are wiping tables, or answering phones in a call center. Many people will say that these people lack motivation, but I run into far too many that I wonder if there is more to it. I’m not trying to disparage a college education, but is it beginning to approach a point of saturation?
Are there so many students getting degrees that the demand has flung tuition prices sky-high and this is the invisible hand adjusting things? At what price is a liberal arts, or communications bachelor degree too expensive? Some people say that you can’t place a price on education, but tell that to the students who were rioting in London.
Even President Obama said that he wants everyone to go to college. That could just be overly optimistic political-speak, but if that did come true, then college degrees would be about as useful as high school diplomas. There is such a large social stigma being placed on college, especially in 1st generation college students in minority families, but it the degree won’t pay you back, is it worth it?
Obviously, that is a very subjective questions, but it seems like the market is becoming so saturated with students that even for-profit, publicly traded colleges have been able to enter the market. With so many degree holding job-seekers out there, will a degree become meaningless? Is it possible that college may become self-defeating?
I’ve heard the joke many times before that “college’s create good employees.” Sometimes I wonder if that is the case. I’ve met many people who were completely brilliant but had little more than a high school diploma, and I’ve met quite a few college graduates, some with advanced degrees that… the rest can be left unsaid.
People will cite Bill Gates (Microsoft), Warren Buffett (eventually he went back), Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Richard Branson (Virgin Companies), Michael Dell (Dell Computers), and Steve Jobs (Apple Inc) when they talk about college being unnecessary, but do they have a point? I wouldn’t say that college is unnecessary for everyone, but I definitely think that it isn’t as necessary as many people make it out to be.
I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are on this. Is college pricing itself out of the market due to demand? Should there be as many college graduates as there are? Do you believe with the current number of students in attendance, that colleges can still devote enough time to properly educate and hone the experts and leaders of tomorrow, or are they just churning out the same person that went in, just with a different stamp on their paper?