President Barack Obama, who has been on a major speaking tour talking about an economic platform that he says will offer the promise of upward mobility, places special emphasis on access to higher education.
But for some young adults, choosing a path that doesn't include college might be a better choice.
Jack Metzgar, an emeritus professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, mulled over a few sobering statistics last year in the Working-Class Perspectives blog:
• Only about 30 percent of Americans over the age of 25 have bachelor's degrees.
• Citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 20 percent of jobs required a bachelor's degree; 26 percent of jobs did not require a high school diploma; and another 43 percent required a high school diploma or equivalent.
• Nearly three-quarters of "job openings due to growth and replacement needs" in the next 10 years will pay a median wage of less than $35,000 a year.
"It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Americans are over educated for the jobs that we have and are going to have," writes Metzgar, who goes on to argue for minimum wage reform and laws requiring that "the benefits of productivity growth be shared with workers."
Metzgar and Sherry Linkon, an English professor at Georgetown University, join The Daily Circuit to discuss why college isn't the best option for all Americans.
LEARN MORE ABOUT HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE:
• Is a College Degree Still Worth It?
"While college-educated people do stand a better chance of landing a job than those who don't go to secondary school, the time it takes to pay back the money laid out for a degree is growing, causing many to question the efficacy of attending college." (US News & World Report)
• Is Education the Answer to Economic Inequality?
"Regardless of how many people get college degrees, too many jobs in the U.S. will continue to pay low-wages, offer little or no benefits, and provide almost no job security. The only difference will be that workers will have more education and, in most cases, more debt." (Sherry Linkon, Working-Class Perspectives)
• TED Talk: What will future jobs look like? by Andrew McAfee