That college degree is no longer the only path to achieving the American Dream

For decades, a college education was the “golden ticket” to the American Dream, translating into higher lifetime earnings and better job security.To get more news about 教育部认证, you can visit official website.

To that point, the median college graduate makes a total of $2.8 million throughout their career, compared to $1.6 million (a 70% difference) earned by their high school graduate peers, according to a 2021 study by Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

But as today’s businesses demand more technological skills, and higher education gets more expensive, some liberal arts graduates have been disappointed that the college dividend they expected from all the money they spent has become elusive.

This dividend is likely to decrease further as employers recognize that the lack of a credential from a four-year college doesn’t mean a person lacks the skills, drive or ambition needed to succeed in the workplace.

The result is a decade of declining college enrollment, suggesting that millions of Americans are now either unwilling or unable to pay the high price associated with a college degree. A recent Harris Poll found that 51% of all adults in the U.S. say the costs associated with higher education have impacted their ability to pursue a post-high school education.While it may have a negative impact on some colleges, this trend could be a boon to expanding economic and social mobility.

Colleges have traditionally been ranked on their research and exclusivity, not on their return on investment or the employability of their students. Even colleges that provide great employment opportunities for their STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduates may not create similar ROI for their liberal arts students.

Higher education is understandably resistant to having a crude economic measure, such as return on investment, applied to its broader social benefits.

However, it is undeniable that the proliferation of low-quality, high-cost degrees has diluted the value of higher education for some, contributed to the racial wealth gap and brought the previously unassailable social goal of perpetually expanding participation in higher education into doubt.

A pathway to the American Dream that was once a source of hope for so many, isn’t as clear as it once was.Complicating this picture is the fact that many employers have long found it convenient to use a college degree as a gating requirement even for lower-skilled jobs in order to make the screening of resumes more efficient.

Nearly across the board, jobs that previously were occupied by non-college graduates are being filled by those with degrees.

In 2000, 18% of technicians held degrees, compared to 36% in 2019. Jobs as a police officer or firefighter saw a 13% rise in likelihood to have a bachelor’s degree. Qualification inflation in the job market drives many students to low quality but often expensive colleges just to get their foot in the door.

But changes are coming that will offer some relief to students anxious to enter the workforce more economically.