When are Americans going to wake up and realize that the 60s and 70s-era nostalgia for the “value” of a college degree is just that — nostalgia?
A degree does not guarantee you or your children a good job anymore. In fact, it doesn’t guarantee you a job: last year, 1 out of 2 bachelor’s degree holders under 25 were jobless or unemployed. Since the recession, we’ve lost millions of high- and mid-wage jobs — and replaced a handful of those with lower-wage ones. No wonder some young people are giving up entirely — a 16.8 percent unemployment rate plus soaring student loan debt is more than a little discouraging. Yet old-guard academic leaders are still clinging to the status quo — and loudly insisting that a four-year liberal arts degree is a worthy investment in every young American’s future.
Case in point: I was recently invited to keynote during a conference at the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Fresno, Cal. As someone who works every day to give more people access to entrepreneurship education, it’s refreshing to talk to educators who are adapting their curricula in the interest of actually preparing students for a new economy. But one educator told me a story that made my blood boil, about a college president who recently terminated his institution’s entrepreneurship education program.