College Education The Largest Scam In US History?”

Have you ever sat down to look at what return you can expect from your col­lege edu­ca­tional invest­ment?  Seper­at­ing the value of a life long edu­ca­tion, from the insti­tu­tional woes, has often trou­bled me.

Well if you’re cur­rently an under­grad stu­dent, you may not have thought to deeply on the topic, but you most likely will. Per­son­ally, I never had high hopes that a bach­e­lors degree in com­mu­ni­ca­tions would yield some mir­a­cle job.  Even dur­ing col­lege, I real­ized that I had to begin think­ing cre­atively, and entre­pre­neuri­ally in the face of ris­ing tuition, and the loom­ing clouds of an unpromis­ing job market.

So now…after a few years expe­ri­enc­ing the real­ity of the job mar­ket, con­tem­plat­ing the advan­tages of grad school, and still wet with the soap suds of a burst­ing hous­ing bub­ble,  I see the impor­tance of care­fully con­sid­er­ing the pros and cons of a higher education.

Here is an inter­est­ing arti­cle from The Econ­o­mist that begins to explore whether or not the next bub­ble to burst is in the arena of higher edu­ca­tion. But I’m curi­ous as to your expe­ri­ences and thoughts on the matter.

Accord­ing to the arti­cle, the basic idea of a col­lege degree bub­ble, is that peo­ple are spend­ing too much on higher edu­ca­tion, tak­ing on too much debt, and fail­ing to get the reward they expect.  Here’s an excerpt, with link to article…

Edu­ca­tion is a bub­ble in a clas­sic sense. To call some­thing a bub­ble, it must be over­priced and there must be an intense belief in it. Hous­ing was a clas­sic bub­ble, as were tech stocks in the ’90s, because they were both very over­val­ued, but there was an incred­i­bly wide­spread belief that almost could not be ques­tioned — you had to own a house in 2005, and you had to be in an equity-market index fund in 1999.

Prob­a­bly the only can­di­date left for a bub­ble — at least in the devel­oped world (maybe emerg­ing mar­kets are a bub­ble) — is edu­ca­tion. It’s basi­cally extremely over­priced. Peo­ple are not get­ting their money’s worth, objec­tively, when you do the math. And at the same time it is some­thing that is incred­i­bly inten­sively believed; there’s this sort of psycho-social com­po­nent to peo­ple tak­ing on these enor­mous debts when they go to

They go on to crunch a few num­bers, and chal­lenge this asser­sion. They hint at tuition infla­tion, which I think is some­thing most grad­u­ates have a gut level idea is hap­pen­ing, but I’m very inter­ested in look­ing at some hard num­bers on this topic.

I see that it is indeed an insti­tu­ion that is key for advance­ment in soci­ety today, but as usual when con­fronting any­thing so deeply entrenched in our soci­etal con­scious­ness, its not every­day I come across a thor­ough inves­ti­ga­tion on the topic of higher education.

After read­ing the arti­cle, what are your thoughts?  What do you think needs to be con­cidered? Are there any other sources that you are aware of, where peo­ple can take a good objec­tive look at this sub­ject?  I’m interested.

Link to com­plete article

Other related arti­cles on Col­lege Edu­ca­tion:
Study looks at whether col­lege is really worth the price

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