Over 70% of high school grads head to college but less than 27% will get a four-year degree. But that four-year degree is taking on average 5 1/2 years. The 27% is figured on those in college for up to 8 years. 8 years.
Q: But the college statistics show a high grad rate?
Families are told look at the college's graduation rate in choosing colleges. Almost all now show successful graduation rate for 6 years. Some show 8 years. Others only show graduation rates for certain student demographics--grad rates for straight A students, omitting middle and low income students, etc. This also applies to salary on graduation and employment and grad school rates on graduation. That looks very different when you only count top students.
Q: College grads earn more money than non-college?
That used to be true. Now 60% of those with 2-year degrees or less (even 1-6 week certificates) earn more than those with four-year degrees. A traditional degree is a great experience but usually not a career preparation experience. Also statistics are misleading in a dozen ways--primarily, many compare part-time jobs with full-time careers (as if a 18 hour a week job done by a high school student correlates with a 50-hour a week career of a 60 year old executive. Look at stats for full-time careers of 20-30 or 20-35 year olds. That shows Technology Age careers.
Q: College will guarantee a career in your field of interest?
Less than a quarter of college grads get jobs in their field of interest. This includes STEM, finance, etc There are now preferred ways to enter high finance, IT and STEM in high school and certification programs--where the employer will then develop the student to fast changing roles within the career.
Q: College is worth the money?
It can be if more planning goes into the process or one chooses a college and course with relevant internships or proof-of-skill work (depending on the cost of the program). Remember half of college grads get careers in jobs that require a high school diploma to a 2 year degree. Half of college grads need to upskill to get a job. College deans say most high cost colleges are not worth the money in terms of future employment advantages.
Q: Isn't college the Golden Ticket to a great career?
LCollege 100% used to be the Golden Ticket to a great career. It is not now, or, rather it is not the only route. 60% of those not going 4-years earn more than college grads. There are other routes and many on-ramps. In the Technology Age, a four-year college degree may not be the best starting point but most will have to continually upskill--Learning for Life is the new plan.
Q: The four-year degree for the career for life? But now most have 7 completely different careers--7 Bachelors degrees?
The career for life was true but now most will have seven completely different careers. Are you going to return to college seven times for seven Bachelor's degrees. Seven elite BAs would cost over $3million. If you can afford it???? Planning and staging higher education strategically can reduce costs to a fraction and one can still end up with the doctorate (only you don't pay, the employer does.) BTW graduate from the University of Singapore and you can return any time in the next 20 years to upskill or retrain completely.
Q: College for All is being changed, but is anyone listening?
LMany states are changing College for All to College for Life or Some College for All. Both are true. Exponential technology change means continual education and upskilling, re-tooling, skills transition, etc. Learning will be for life. With careers and business needs changing so quickly, entry to a career early and training in the job for promotion is working brilliantly. College students can get real certifications in high school and summer and part-time work in the career is a brilliant option for those wedded to the 'four-year college experience.'
Q: If more get college degrees, more jobs needing college degrees will open up?
This hasn't happened as more people get degrees. The work breakdown is 10% need an advanced degree like a PhD, MD, Law degree, MBA or Masters. 20% need a four-year degree (that is NOT 20 % of grads will get a job, that includes 45 years of graduates going for those jobs.) And 70% require a high school degree to a 2 year degree. Manual work has shrunk to not being on the chart. A college education is WONDERFUL to have but it isn't usually professional career preparation (unless you plan in those features.)