May 14, 2011
Wahid Hussaini

US College Bubble Yet to Burst

Looking back about 50 years, the US has seen its heyday when obtaining a college degree was considered an outstanding accomplishment and “hard” skilled workers such as plumbers, electricians, mechanics were of greater value. Only about half of High School graduates went on to obtain a college degree. Today that number is closer to 70% even though education standards in High Schools continue to deteriorate.

American College enrollmentBut even though unemployment for College Graduates is high, more and more High School students are brainwashed in thinking the only way to make it in the real world is by going to College. How many times has the “College grads make one million more dollars than HS grads” quote been repeated by guidance counselors?

More college campuses are offering overpriced degrees in journalism, women’s studies and psychology that don’t lead students anywhere. The more Americans go to college the more useless it is to have a college degree. High Schools are no longer concerned about the future of students, rather they are concerned with their graduation numbers and percentage of students attending college.

The good old days of learning practical things in public school are gone. Instead of home economics, machine shop classes and the like, high schools are teaching kids to simply graduate and go to college, no matter what they may learn.

worthless educationThe degrees that should remain in colleges are the ones who lead to careers that actually contribute to society and for the better of our economy. We should not get rid of degrees in nursing, agriculture, engineering, and medicine for example.

I have come across an editorial on MachineDesign magazine with letters from subscribers. One of the letters particularly caught my attention. This person warned against choosing a career in engineering, or majoring in engineering in college. But who can blame him. There has become less of a need for engineers as we outsource more work to foreign countries. Engineering majors now choose to get their MBA or become investment bankers as opposed to engineers due to the lack of opportunities in their field.

It is only a matter of time before the debt owned by college students spirals out of control to unsustainable levels and the college bubble will burst. More and more Americans now realize that getting a college degree is no longer worth what it used to.

tuition inflationAnd who is responsible for unsustainable levels of tuition inflation?

The federal government who lets college campuses increase their tuition and shells out billions in federal student aide to students who probably shouldn’t even have received their HS diploma.

Banks who lure students and their parents in taking out easy student loans. And those students remaining forever indentured in their debts.

College campuses for increasing tuition faster than natural inflation rates, and offering degrees that don’t help students contribute to society and our local economies.

Blog post inspired by the National Inflation Association

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