Rethinking value of college degree

It won’t be long before high school seniors will have to decide if applying to a four-year college or university is worthwhile.  So much has already been written about the pros and cons, but I always come back to a slim volume published in 1965 by John Keats entitled “The Sheepskin Psychosis” as the best advice for young people.

Keats wrote that college is merely the most convenient place to learn how to learn.  It is not an absolute determinant, despite what everyone seems to think.  In short, he correctly believes that we have been wildly oversold on the value of a bachelor’s degree.

When few adults continued their education beyond high school, possession of a degree in any field meant something.  But today, its value has been so diluted as to be little more than a high school diploma.

I’ve written this often before in this column: College is not for everyone because not everyone is college material.  Most would be better served by pursuing a vocational curriculum in high school, coupled with an apprenticeship.  Other countries with robust economies have long known this, which is why a degree abroad is indeed prestigious.

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