Questioning the Need for a Degree


SensibleSolutions's picture

A good question, but market-forces apply to labor too.

"The United States can learn from other countries, particularly in northern Europe, Professor Schwartz says."
But all those he lists have worker protections like strong unions and enforcement of non-alien hiring practices. Where those fail, broad social safety nets make up the difference. Even if we disagree with these policies/models on principle, it is still an apples to oranges comparison.

Also, "A Georgetown University study projected 14 million job openings ... such as electricians and paralegals."
I've personally lived the "Iron Law of Wages" as an electrician. The inevitable market-result from an infinite labor supply is hand-to-mouth worker pay. After getting my trades-certificate and living as a member of the full-time working-poor for a year, I returned to school to complete my Bachelors degree. Paralegal? - do yourself a favor and get that law degree if you can.

I am going for at least a Masters in order to reserve a place in the ever-shrinking US middle-class. As I see it, the US is headed towards the Philippine/Indonesian model where workers without a college degree earn barely enough to sustain a bad diet and live in a tin shack.

As far as the college-loan debt, one pays 15% of income above 150% of poverty. If I can make that level of income again, it will be a step up from the post-globalization /inflation minimum wage and, hence, a net increase overall.