Making the College Degree Universal – Like High School

It’s taken for granted now that every child born in this country has to at least go as far as high school. It wasn’t always this way though. When the government made a high school education universal more than 90 years ago, it seemed to the entire country that the government was being far too idealistic. What would everyone do with such a fantastic level of education, they wondered. Most people just needed to work the fields or the factories. Why, in Europe, a universal high school education policy was positively discouraged by the intellectuals of the continent. America went ahead with making it illegal for parents to keep their children home from school, and brought schooling to every home in every village in the land. Europe did not at first. As the years wore on, it became clear that America’s high school graduates certainly made for better factory workers and farmhands. It took the country forward much more quickly to have an educated population. Sadly though, America seems to have forgotten the lessons it once learned. You can hear it debated everywhere today how it’s just craziness that we expect every young person to go to college.

With parents groaning under the burden of expensive college tuitions and many young people everywhere unwilling to put themselves through rigor that a college degree requires Tài chính ngân hàng, pandering education skeptics seem to have the public ear. Unfortunately for them, being the country of modest educational expectations makes no more sense today than it did back then.

One reason it is argued that a college degree is unnecessary is that it seems apparent these days that being a college graduate is nothing special. Young people don’t seem to get any great jobs just because they have a degree under their belts, they say.

Now this would be a terribly simplistic argument to make. While a college degree doesn’t guarantee anything more than a mediocre life, not having one would in most circumstances, guarantee a terrible one. To begin with, better educated people are certainly better adjusted in life – and happier. And then, holding a bachelor’s degree can pay off in all kinds of ways in life. Even if one’s job is being a salesperson, a plumber, a carpenter, a car mechanic or a secretary.

One needs to realize that if college were nearly free like it is in, say, Germany, no one would be interested in this argument. The only reason we talk about this in America is that college costs and the loans taken out to handle them, can be crippling.

All this anxiety over unmanageable college costs though doesn’t always make sense. At your average public college, a standard degree is only about $2000 a year. It’s the private colleges that charge high prices. And when you graduate from college, your pay scale is certainly going to be higher – by 50% usually. When there’s a recession, far fewer college graduates lose their jobs than high school graduates.

The biggest surprise in this test, which was done by a team at Georgetown University, was the one that went on to find that people who come to blue-collar jobs with degrees routinely make far more than people who come to the job with nothing more than high school. With education, a plumber can usually do more skilled plumbing work; and the same would apply to a policeman, a secretary or anyone.

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