If you’re number one reason for going to college is not for better employment thereafter, don’t go. The Pew Research Center reports that nearly half of students say the main purpose of college is to teach work related skills (count me in that camp) . Just under 40% say it is to help the student grow personally and intellectually. Fiat me this: most of those people believe that by growing personally and intellectually, they have a better chance of being employed, and earning a higher income. This assumption is being exposed by the broader weak economy. In a bubble era of inflating home prices, surging public spending, untenable tax cuts, and the booming stock market they all supported, a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts MIGHT have been an adequate point of differentiation. It never will be again. One of Paul Harrington and Neeta Fogg’s characteristics of malemployment is when a person has more education than his or her position requires. More than a third of people with humanities and liberal arts degrees are malemployed. Do not expect this to improve more than temporarily if at all. The last four years have made employers experts in paying only for people that they perceive as directly influencing their top or bottom line. This is why you hear about major corporations shedding thousands of jobs, while recording year to year profits. They have figured out how to be profitable with less people. Thus a liberal arts degree competing for lower paying jobs is less valuable than when competing for higher paying ones. Go to college only to get a job. Growing personally and intellectually is my continuing dream. I hope it’s everyone’s. There are simply better ways to do it than to attend a four year college. Most of them are considerably less expensive. You can volunteer on an organic farm in exchange for room and board, (http://www.wwoof.org/), you can truly develop your sociological or anthropological insight (http://www.volunteersouthamerica.net/), or you can still work at the same job you might have if you had paid for four years of tuition. You can do any or all of these while studying for your own betterment online (http://www.loc.gov/library/libarch-digital.html). Those are a few ideas out of thousands that will leave you with less debt, (none if you do it correctly), real experience, and consequently more marketable skills.
Tell me in the comments section, what would you have done to better yourself if you hadn’t gone to college?