I am working with a young man in my church who earned his college degree in business management from an accredited college in the month he turned 18. He was home schooled. He paid $13,000, total.
They never tell you about stories like his in the mainstream media.
MarketWatch is a major publisher in the field of finance. It ran a story on August 23 on the grim job market facing college grads. The unemployment rate for recent grads is 9.4%. The underemployment rate is about 20%. These people cannot find full-time work.
Worse, 40% are working in jobs that did not used to require a college degree.
But it is far worse for “no college” recent high school grads. Their unemployment rate is over 30% — horrendous. And 50% are underemployed.
All the way down the pecking order, the degree requirement has risen. Recent college grads face the worst job market in decades. But it is worse for high school grads than ever before in the last 60 years.
This job market has re-defined the value of a degree. A college degree — any old degree — is not worth what it was in 2007. But a young person had better have one. He is going to face years of rotten jobs if he doesn’t.
College costs are up since 1981, the year of the last really bad recession, by a factor of 1.8 for private schools. They are up by a factor of 2.7 for public four-year colleges. But family income is up by 18%.
Student debt keeps rising. The typical college grad leaves school with $25,000 in debt. There are 20 million people with student loans still active. Almost 5.5 million of them are delinquent.
What the article does not say is that the total cost of a liberal arts degree ought to be no higher than $15,000.
The parents are being skinned. So are the students.
What is the lesson never mentioned by articles on the costs of college? This. It has never been cheaper to get a college degree. But most students and most parents are ignorant of how to beat the system.
Here is the reality of this job market.
All post-Great Recession job gains have gone to those with more education. A recent Georgetown University Study notes that 3.4 million jobs have been created since the recovery began. All of these post-Great Recession jobs have gone to workers with an education beyond high school. For those with a bachelor’s degree or better, jobs have increased by 2 million. For those with an associate degree or some college education, jobs have increased by 1.6 million. For those with a high-school diploma or less, jobs have continued to decrease by 200,000 since the recovery began. Clearly an education beyond high school is important in today’s job market.
There is also this. About 78 million baby boomers will be turning 65 between 2011 and 2029. This will create job openings. But that does little good for recent high school degree-only graduates. These jobs will go to college grads. And they will not pay as much as the boomers were paid.
This is why students need to get their college degrees fast and cheap. They need to do this with zero debt. They have co compensate for a bad job market by getting into it earlier.