atl134-- during the 1800's, the literacy, and learning was much higher then
today. Today, we require more hours of schooling, but it
doesn't make it better education.* Testing skills have replaced
learning* Essays are now done by downloading from a computer*
memorizing the times table has been replaced by a calculator. Math skills are
engineering has been hit hard too. with automation toolsets and the simplicity
of doing complex tasks with such tools, many of the jobs that were exclusively
engineering jobs are now going overseas in record numbers. Someone with an
engineering job and is a primary breadwinner should not expect to be able to
settle in one place and stay there for his/her lifetime. It just isn't
feasible any longer without at least being willing to take positions that
don't require all that extra math, while hoping to find something more in
line with one's degree.
Funny how there is the data in that report, yet the education gurus that steer
nat'l and state education and insist on data driven education are screaming
that high schools need to get every student ready for college. I still
can't figure out who they think will be fixing everyone's plumbing,
building their houses, or driving their trucks full of Internet purchases.Their are many problems in the system: reduced acceptance scores
meaning many go to college without a prayer of graduating, because colleges need
paying students, reduced ability in graduates, due to either their low ability,
or to colleges lagging behind what the market needs, and of course, the fact
that US students don't flock to the majors that require effort or work,
they go to the easy things, that look fun, or easy.But it is all
voluntary...no one is forcing people to do dumb things.
"underemployed and overeducated"Because higher education
nowadays proves the adage: Those who can, do; those who can't, teach (on
the university level); and those who can't teach, end up as professors who
fail to teach students the most basic and necessary skills -- how to make a
The research shows that there are too many people graduating with the wrong type
of degree. Folks who are graduating from their undergraduate institutions with
degrees in psychology, art history, humanities, etc. are not marketable unless
they go directly into a marketable master's degree afterwards, and then
enter the workforce. Furthermore, our K-12 school districts need to prepare
students better to enter undergraduate programs in healthcare related fields
(Ex. nursing,radiology,respiratory therapy, etc.) and engineering (mechanical
engineering, civil engineering, and electrical engineering). This country
imports way too many nurses from the Philippines and engineers from India and
China since we do a poor job at preparing our own citizens for those same jobs.
China and India are going to over take the U.S. as economic world powers since
we are failing our children miserably in our K-12 system.
Education for the sake of education is a great thing, but not if you have to
borrow to do it. Also, while trying to help the masses receive college degrees
we have deflated their value, which the market appropriately recognizes. It is
possible for someone to graduate with a computer science degree while still
requiring help to figure out why char*p; memcpy(p,"hello",5); causes a
segmentation fault. Too many technical college graduates struggle with something
like (x-1)(x-2)(x-3) > 0 even though you would think with all the math they
had to take they should be doing problems of this level in their sleep. Today
colleges seem to produce lofty thinkers that have dabbled in higher matters but
still severely lack basic skills and common sense. The more capable of them are
able to find their way into the job market and get corrected, while others
I believe that this phenonemon is a natural progression of the consequences of
NAFTA and the belief that free trade is actually free and beneficial. Twenty to
thirty years ago there were many more good paying manufacturing jobs, many of
which have been moved overseas or over our borders. With the lack of these
types of jobs, increasingly the choice is a less than $20/hr job or trying to
get a more highly educated job. However, there are only so many jobs and
professions which require that type of education, and in fact those professions
(lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc) are oversaturated and their income levels are
being pulled down on average. Incredible lack of foresight on behalf of the
In reading this article and the comments, a great line comes to mind from the
movie "Ghostbusters." At the prospect of leaving their
university/academic jobs, one of the future Ghostbusters utters:
"Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we
didn't have to produce anything. You've never been out of college.
You don't know what it's like out there. I've worked in the
private sector: they expect results." This is said to get a
laugh, but I think there is real wisdom behind the joke. As some have already
commented, we should emphasize job training more, and college education less.
In some cases, the route to a wanted career will indeed include college. But
often that is not necessary. We have come to teach that a college education is
the end all and be all of our preparation for entering the workforce (or at the
very least the only ticket to better income). It is creating false
expectations, causing inflation of the value of the degree (i.e., a degree in
1960 was worth much more than a degree is worth now), and driving education
costs to rediculous levels.
Interesting article. There's indeed no easy solution. Are there a lot
college graduates working in jobs that don't require college-level skills?
Absolutely. But is that wrong or does it mean the degree wasn't worth it?
Not so fast.There's a perverse dilemma that perpetuates all
this. As an employer, when I'm faced with choosing between a new hire with
a college degree vs. one without (for the same salary and for a job that
doesn't *require* a degree), I'll choose the kid with the degree hands
down. Why? Because I can. And because that degree is an element of
differentiation. Does that mean the new hire shouldn't have pursued their
degree? Not at all! It's that degree that got him/her hired over someone
without it--even if the job doesn't explicitly require it.So,
balancing the number of college degrees with the number of jobs requiring one
isn't as simple as saying, "Reduce the number of college degrees
because there aren't as many jobs that require it." There's an
element of job applicant competition that needs to get resolved.
One of the problems I see is that Universities drastically overstate the future
earnings of students in their career planning. The students expect to earn
higher salaries than is realistic and take out debt to match what that pseudo
post University salary is projected. The rude reality today is that they are
unemployed, underemployed & underpaid with a load of debt that lasts
decades. It seems that the push is on for Engineering majors, but I'm
watching family in Utah with those degrees struggle to maintain long term
employment. Sure there are part time, temporary positions, but long range
employment is elusive. Not everyone has the I.Q. to major in S.T.E.M. areas that
are so pushed these days. This article really makes sense and it's sad to
watch those with new degrees unable to find employment that they expected to
@Say No to BO"Place a 6th grade exit exam from the 1800s in front of
them and see how they do."1800s? The education levels then were
way inferior to what we have now.
One should examine the underlying agenda of sources for news articles. Richard
Vedder, the lead source for this article, doesn't believe in taxpayer
financing of education (e.g. public schools, State Universities, etc.). He has
a history of putting his skills up for payment by the highest bidder:"Vedder was a member of the Tobacco Institute's clandestine
Economists' network -- a group of academics that the tobacco industry
recruited who worked behind the scenes to fight proposed tax increases on
cigarettes and the declining acceptability of public and workplace smoking by
generating favorable research for publication, presenting favorable papers at
academic conferences and symposia, and being ready to challenge the "social
costs" economic arguments employed by anti-smoking activist at public and
legislative forums. Members of the Institute's Economists Network also
assisted by writing letters-to-the-editor and lecturing to journalists on behalf
of the industry."I question how many of these non-college jobs
were *permanent*? I don't think it tells us much when a recent graduate has
to work as a parking attendant for a year, while they're lining up a job in
their field. You must look at total work history.
I disagree with the notion that Universities should focus on job training. That
is what trade schools are for. Universities are structured for holistic
education and should be focused on the tradition curriculum of the humanities
and sciences. The reason we have so many overqualified individuals is that
society started to associate a University education with job training, which it
is not. Maybe the best thing we can do is to establish non-profit,
state owned "Trade Colleges" that teach the skills people need to get
jobs that are short on workers: Engineering, Nursing Accounting, etc. Those
students wouldn't have to use their time or the state's money taking
general educations classes if all they want is training for a job. Then the universities can be left to teach the traditional humanities and
sciences curriculum to the those who have the time and money to invest in that
type of education.
My wife received her BA with honors. While we were raising our children she
didn't have a full-time job and the part-time jobs she had didn't
require a degree though the skills she acquired while at the university helped
her in her work. The greatest blessing of her education is that it helped to
make her a great mother. Her appreciation for art, literature, music and many
other areas were passed on to our children. Education can help you get a better
job but it does so much more to enrich a person's life and the lives those
whom they touch.
Duece, I used to live in Livermore. But I have to say there are not enough jobs
for the engineers we are graduation. The BLS paints a rather grim picture for
engineering and STEM. Unfortunately, there is much misinformation on this
subject. Look up my name on Google and you'll find links to article that I
have published over the last decade. We have the Utah Engineers Council banquet
on Saturday. Please check out the free Journal. You have the SVEC banquet in San
Jose. Both are for National Engineers Week.
I have come to regard many college professors as simply sales people who must
recruit a steady flow of students to declare in their specialty in order to keep
their own cushy jobs. Pity the poor student who believes that those professors
have the least concern for the future of their student victims. While I recognize that many professors are people of great integrity there are
others in the university setting who are little more then uncaring,
Our universities turn out many graduates who have no marketable skills. After
the general requirements, the last two years of college should be directed to
future employment. That may explain the popularity of for-profit colleges, many
of whom focus on making their graduates employable, not just educated.
IRONY OF THE DAY: The DNews complains that Americans are over-educated.
Let's change the scripture? "The glory of God is the economy."
Most politicians are just interested in power and money, but Obama, by all
parameters of his own words and legislative actions, wants to keep people in
poverty, including the latest of many subterfuges of increasing the minimum
wage. Raising the minimum wage will not raise any of these people out of
poverty! Get a clue Americans. Obama is either a marxist, deluded, or both
(obviously!). The pied piper of the socialist dream(men's ideas for
unity)will only bring more misery and despair, me NOT included. Debt,
superficial answers, and increasing Washington's power are hardly
beneficial to even sheep!
Overeducated? I don't think so. Maybe "Miseducated" would be more
appropriate.How many "degreed" individuals do we need in the
culinary arts, medical coding and billing, photography, vetinary technology,
dental assisting, office management, medical assisting etc etc etc? How many of
these so called "degreed" individuals come out of "for profit"
colleges and universities with a worthless degree and huge student debts unable
to repay their loans?If you want a real degree then pay the price, work
your tail off and get a degree from a reputable univeristy in something that
companies and industry really value and demand. The jobs are there but not in
"paralegal assisting" or "fashion design technology".
Getting a high-paying salary is not the only reason for obtaining an education.
People need to learn to think about things for themselves. We need to be
educated so we don't listen to our president's state of the union
address and take everything he tells us at face value. We need to be able to
listen to the candidates who are running for president and decide what is bull
and what is the truth. I have learned a lot outside of my area of specialty
because I was required to take many different subjects. It has made my life
richer to be able to understand, and thus enjoy, many other aspects of life. The
biggest problem with education, in my opinion, is that students expect to be
handed the information they need, and only what they need, for the exam. They
often could care less to know anything, they just want to get a grade. Until
people become interested in learning and discovering new information, getting a
degree will not mean a lot. Only those who get an education and in the process
learn things that are valuable to their future employers will be in demand.
Why would we argue against a well-educated society??
How about restricting federal aid to those degrees in which the projected income
is at some certain level? If you want to major in abstract sculpture,
don't expect any federal help.
I'm not sure they are overqualified.Place a 6th grade exit exam from
the 1800s in front of them and see how they do.We've been dumbing
down for the last 50 years. It was bound to catch up with us.From
counting change to common sense, these grads are sorely lacking.But if you
need someone who scores well on Halo, we've got a bumper crop of experts.
There is a misconception by federal and state government that education is a
right of passage to the riches and wealth they advertise as essential to become
prosperous and rich. True, the real need for this country are being
neglected but that is because Math and science skilled trades are not ability
for anyone who wants a degree. Math and science require and intelligence way
above the average level of 90 percent of college students but that is an
irrelevant issue that education is willing to live with to hide unemployed and
criminal debt profiteering by colleges.Young adults don't
really understand the reality of the economy that jobs are limited and education
administrators are lying to them. The industry's that government and
schools are promising don't exist and we have gone beyond the saturation
point of need for low level unskilled workers with dreams of prosperity is a
myth.Education is a multibillion dollar financial industry replacing
the housing bust and soon to happen education debt bust. Jobs will never be more
than what we have and technology is a low asset for low skill service jobs in
tourism, maids, food service, restaurants, and small business.
Interesting article. In areas such as engineering, there are far more jobs than
qualified people. Part of the reason that many companies are trying to get the
government to let in more foreign workers to do these jobs. Individuals coming
out of college with an electrical engineering degree have a job already before
they graduate. It seems that the issue has more to do with the type of degree
many have vs what the job market is looking for. We as a nation need to better
match need to what people are studying in college. For example, individuals who
come out of college with a teaching degree in math seem to find a job with
little problem. The same cannot be said for an English major.