In the good old days, when I was a teenager, college was the way to job security. But, with each new batch of graduates, the value of a degree in the liberal arts goes down. Graduates compete against each other.
The main source of job growth is new businesses: 5 years or newer. These are start-ups. They are started by entrepreneurs who put their money on the line. They have gifts. They think they can forecast what future customers will buy. They make money if they are correct. They go out of business if they do not have this skill.
Today’s college, like college in (say) 1150, is staffed by salaried bureaucrats who are not entrepreneurs. They do not know how to create jobs by creating firms. They teach different skills. Yet our brightest teenagers go there to come into adulthood.
Where will the next generation get the skills they need, and the motivation they need, to start businesses? From wherever their predecessors got this. Colleges have never taught these skills.
College puts smart people in contact with each other on campus. About 19 million a year attend. But these people look for salaried positions after graduation. I ask: Offered by whom?
Years spent writing term papers and taking exams have little to do with starting a business. Apprenticeship does. By emphasizing bureaucratic skills, colleges train people for jobs that will not exist for long. What we need is men with experience in helping young people learn about business.
This was discussed by the New York Times in a recent article If the liberal Times has figured it out, then it’s late in the process.
My advice: get through fast and cheap. Use CLEP exams and AP exams for the first two years. Use distance learning for the last two, unless you’re majoring in engineering. It is possible to get an accredited degree for under $15,000, total. Why pay more? Stay at home, apprentice for part-time, and take exams to get the degree.