College is a bad investment for most young people

When few young people had a bachelor’s degree decades ago, it mattered little what they majored in or where they graduated from.  But today the reverse is true.  Student debt is making many degree holders question whether they had made the correct decision (“Is It Still Possible to Pay for College?” The New York Times, Sep. 20).

Unless students have the ability and desire to major in fields that are hungry for workers, they would be far better off pursuing a vocational certificate from a community college, coupled with an apprenticeship.  Not only would they not be burdened with onerous debt, but they would be immediately hired.  The widely hailed wage premium attached to a college degree over a high school diploma does not take into account the major and the cost of paying back student loans.

I hope students in high school get better counseling about their future plans than they have been receiving so far.  College is not for everyone.  That’s a hard message that needs to be learned to avoid the heartbreaking stories of underemployed college graduates.

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