The Decline of College?

The Decline of College?Earlier this week, we stumbled upon an article that really got us thinking, and today, we thought we’d finally say something about it.

The article, called “The Decline of College,” was written by Victor Hanson, a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services.

The main point of the article is this: for as long as many of us can remember, college has been the path towards a successful career and to upper-mobility.

But now, that may not be the case: “at the California State University system, the largest university complex in the world, well under 20 percent of students graduate in four years despite massive student aid,” student debt is rising, and there are other ways (like online courses) to get educated and get a job.

What Hanson calls the decline of college is a combination of many things that we discuss here: the fact that $1.2 trillion in student debt is crippling the economy, that school is expensive and often not a guarantor of jobs, and that college is no longer the only way to “get there.”

Now don’t get us wrong: we are not against college. In fact, we’re very big proponents of it, but what Hanson says raises a very important point–that there are many more ways than college to be successful, and that college doesn’t have to be for everyone. Today, there are many legitimate alternatives to college, and it’s important to consider them all before throwing yourself into student debt.

And that’s where we come in. In addition to alternatives like cheaper (or even free) online courses, career-based/trade education can be a great workaround of student debt and the traditional college system, while still allowing a very successful career.

The more that we can convince people that it’s okay to work smart and hard, and that manufacturing careers are good, secure, well-paying positions, the more we can start changing the public perception that today, college is the only path to success.

Are we witnessing the decline of college? We’re not sure, but we don’t think so. But at the same time, we are witnessing an era of great opportunities outside of college, and without student debt. And it’s hard to put a value on that.

photo credit: j.o.h.n. walker via photopin cc