The obsession in this country with college for all has led to one million borrowers who default on their student loans each year (“A universal bailout is the wrong fix for student loans,” New York Post, May 28). Rather than argue about the various proposals to bail them out, I’d like to suggest another solution.
The reality is that not all students are college material. They lack the wherewithal to handle college-level work, but they have been brainwashed into believing that without a four-year degree their future is bleak. That’s because the estimated premium attached to the degree is approximately 15 percent. When they hear this time and again, they do not consider another pathway to a well-paying job.
I’m referring specifically to vocational education. Students who take vocational courses in high school and combine them with apprenticeships find themselves in demand. Not only do they earn low six-figure incomes but they have no student debt to pay off. Nevertheless, vocational education in this country continues to be seen as inferior to an academic education.
I’d like to see average salaries earned by college graduates that are broken down by major. Then I’d like to see average salaries earned by vocationally-trained graduates also broken down by specialization. I submit that once student loans are included, the differences would not be nearly as dramatic as believed.
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