2022-01-13 08:08:00来源:网络


  That more people should go to college is usually taken as a given. People

  with collegedegrees make a lot more than people without them, and that

  difference has beengrowing. But does that mean that we should help more kids go

  to college--or that weshould make it easier for people who didn't go to college

  to make a living?


  We may be close to maxing out on the first strategy. Our high college

  drop-out rate--40% of kids who enroll in college don't get a degree within six

  years--may be a signthat we're trying to push too many people who aren't suited

  for college to enroll. Ithas been estimated that most people in their 20s who

  had college degrees were not injobs that required them: another sign that we are

  pushing kids into college who willnot get much out of it but debt.


  The benefits of putting more people in college are also oversold. Part of

  the collegewage premium is an illusion.


  People who go to college are, on average, smarter than people who don't. In

  aneconomy that increasingly rewards intelligence, you'd expect college grads to

  pullahead of the pack even if their diplomas signified nothing but their



  College must make many students more productive workers. But at least some

  of theapparent value of a college degree, and maybe a lot of it, reflects the

  fact thatemployers can use it as a rough measure of job applicants' intelligence

  andwillingness to work hard.


  We could probably increase the number of high school seniors who are ready

  to go tocollege and likely to make it to graduation. But let's face it: college

  isn't for everyone,especially if it takes the form of four years of going to

  classes on a campus.


  To talk about college this way may sound élitist. It may even sound

  philistine, sincethe purpose of a liberal-arts education is to produce

  well-rounded citizens rather thanproductive workers.


  But perhaps it is more foolishly élitist to thinkthat going to school until

  age 22 is necessary to being well-rounded, or to tellmillions of kids that their

  future depends on performing a task that only a minority ofthem can actually



  The good news is that there have never been more alternatives to the

  traditionalcollege. Online learning is more flexible and affordable than the

  brick-and-mortarmodel of higher education. Certification tests could be

  developed so that in manyoccupations employers could get more useful knowledge

  about a job applicant thanwhether he has a degree.


  Career and technical education could be expanded at a fraction of the cost

  of collegesubsidies. Occupational licensure rules could be relaxed to create

  opportunities forpeople without formal education.


  It is absurd that people have to get college degrees to be considered for

  good jobs inhotel management or accounting--or journalism. It is inefficient,

  both because itwastes a lot of money and because it locks people who would have

  done good workout of some jobs.


  The tight connection between college degrees and economic success may be a

  nearlyunquestioned part of our social order. Future generations may look back

  and shudderat the cruelty of it.



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