Although it is true that the median college graduate earns more than the median high school graduate, the reality is not nearly as black and white as it appears (“The Misguided Priorities of Our Educational System,” The New York Times, Dec. 10). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school graduates with above-average earnings earn $34,000 to $70,000 annually. That compares with college graduates with below-average earnings of between$28,000 to $58,000.
This wage spread is given little attention. But it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. I’ve seen many of my former students who never went to college but who have a trade make far more money annually than my former students who went to college and majored in a non-STEM field. Moreover, the former group has no college loan to repay. That’s no small thing when rentals continue to rise, leaving little disposable income at the end of every month.
I’ve written often before about the need to give vocational education far more respect and support. Not all young people have the desire or ability to go to college. To see them drop out after having assumed so much debt is sad. Let’s get real about the premium attached to a college degree. Much depends on the major and the college itself.
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