Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report

Brexit déjà vu

Oct 21, 2019

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Tech
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Corner Office from Marketplace
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
This Is Uncomfortable
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Commentary

Should everyone go to college?

Marketplace Contributor Jun 18, 2012
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY

It’s time to ditch the college-for-all crusade. Like the crusade to make all Americans homeowners, it’s doing more harm than good.

True, the expansion of colleges after World War II helped democratize what had been an elitist privilege. In 1940, only 5 percent of Americans had completed college. Now, about 30 percent have a bachelor’s degree, and another 10 percent have associate degrees.

But we’ve overdone the college obsession. It’s become the be-all and end-all of K-12 schooling. If you don’t go to college, you’ve failed, even though about 70 percent of jobs require no more than a high school diploma. But public policy has been to send more and more students to college — resulting in three bad consequences.

First, we’ve dumbed down college. Even with lower requirements, dropout rates at four-year schools approach 40 percent of freshmen. And many graduates don’t learn much. One study found after four years, about a third of students hadn’t improved their analytical skills.

Second, the college-prep track in high schools marginalizes millions of students who feel disconnected from that singular focus. School bores them.

Finally, we’re not preparing these students for productive lives. If they’re not interested in chemistry and English lit, we still need to motivate them. We need, says economist Robert Lerman, to create a different route to a rewarding career.

One way is to forge closer ties between high schools and jobs through, for example, apprenticeship programs that train people for trades like high-skilled manufacturing.

The rap against employment-oriented schooling is that it traps the poor and minorities into dead-end jobs. But the reality is if we don’t train many of our students for jobs that don’t require a college degree, they’ll end up in dead-end jobs anyway or with no job at all.

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.

Check Your Balance ™️
Check Your Balance ™️
Personal finance from Marketplace. Where the economy, your personal life and money meet.

Thank you to all the donors who made our fall drive a success!

It’s Investors like you that keep Marketplace going strong!