Hello, college graduates. It's October already, and you've been out of school for some months now. How's the job search going? Did you land that dream job yet? If they haven't already, your school loan repayment requests will start rolling in.
For hundreds of thousands of newly-minted grads, Reid's sentiment is spot on. The Wall Street Journal reported a few months ago that 284,000 American college graduates with bachelor's degree and 37,000 holders of advanced degrees could only find jobs paying minimum wage in 2012. While that's down from the peak in 2010, it is still 70% higher than from a decade earlier.
It's no wonder that since the start of the Great Recession, more and more people have been beating the anti-college drumbeat. Venture capitalist and finance writer James Altucher said, as quoted in New York Magazine, "When [my daughters are] 18 years old, just hand them $200,000 to go off and have a fun time for four years? Why would I want to do that?" :
To Altucher, higher education is nothing less than an institutionalized scam—college graduates hire only college graduates, creating a closed system that permits schools to charge exorbitant prices and forces students to take on crippling debt. “The cost of college in the past 30 years has gone up tenfold. Health care has only gone up sixfold, and inflation has only gone up threefold. Not only is it a scam, but the college presidents know it. That’s why they keep raising tuition.”
Instead, Altucher proposed 8 alternatives to college, including starting a business, writing a book and traveling the world.
On the other hand, consider the graph above by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For adults 25 years and older, the data is clear: college and advanced degrees correlate with higher earnings and lower unemployment rates. Those with a high school diploma earn, on average, only $652 a week and has over 8% unemployment rate in 2012. Those with bachelor's degrees earn almost double ($1,066 a week) with half the unemployment rate.