Viable Alternatives to College

In this Freeman piece today, Jeff Tucker examines our mania for pushing most young people into college, and he looks at the alternatives.

He mentions a conversation he had recently with a young man in graphic design who said, “In my field, the employers regard college as evidence that you are willing to waste lots of time and money doing not much of anything productive. I decided to gain the competitive advantage and jump into the workforce at 20, get experience, and start climbing the ladder.”

That’s very interesting. It used to be the case that earning a college degree was a mark of distinction that gave you an advantage in the competition for jobs. Apparently, the pendulum is swinging back — getting a degree is now so easy that there is little distinction in it and the advantage goes to those who are willing to forgo the “five year party” (that’s the title of a recent book on college) and start working.

I agree with Tucker’s conclusion: “The path toward a freer educational market will be paved by private entrepreneurial efforts to meet the human needs that government programs leave unserved.”

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More