Sunday, January 24, 2010

Chapter 2

When reading chapter two of our textbook, the section about “Mismatch between Educational Attainment and Occupational Requirements” caught my attention. The facts presented by the authors of Tough Choice or Tough Times: The Report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce were alarming, claiming that many countries today surpass us in having a workforce with a high school diploma or an equivalent. In addition, they also claim that the U.S.’s population of college students have dropped from 30% to 14% and continues to fall. These statements are a surprise and an expectation of what is to come because I have noticed these trends as well. In this modern age, there are more jobs available that don’t require a college education or even a high school diploma or equivalent, such as, fast food and retail jobs. This sends a negative message to children, misleading them to think that education is no longer essential in acquiring a job or a career. Another factor in lowered number of college students and high school graduates is due to the shape of our current economy. Many students can’t afford to stay in school anymore, and therefore drop out. Because of the increase in drop outs, companies lower their educational requirements in order to hire these types of workers. Others may continue in school but may find out later that continuing their educational career didn’t help them to land the job of their choice.

According to the article, “A College Degree Might be Worth Nothing” by George Leef, students have been over-encouraged by the government to attend college only to find that they might not end up at their dream jobs. The government uses numbers to demonstrate the payoff of going to college even though there’s no guarantee that a degree will secure financial benefits. Leef (2008) also notes that most college graduates are working jobs that don’t require a degree and that attending college has only put them in debt. This article gave me a new perspective as to why some students drop out or don’t attend college. It makes a lot of sense, especially in today’s economy, that some people may find college unnecessary in obtaining a job because of the debts from student loans and lack of job opportunities. Because of this, many people now might view college as a luxury and not a necessity.

Works Cited
Leef, George. "A College Degree Might be Worth Nothing." Carolina Journal (2008).


  1. I really agree with your statements at the end of your post. A lot of people were just told their whole life that they will never make it in life if they do not go to college and get a degree. However, I think this forces people away from a career that they might have otherwise chosen. If a person has wanted to be in a band or make art since they were a child, they might lose their passion for it because it is not a career that would have required a college degree. We could be missing out on a lot of things that they could have created just because we steered them away from it.

  2. i found that to be very interesting as well. I know many people who have graduated and gone on to a career that is completely irrelevant to their major. Alternatively, I also know many people who chose to go to a community college and join the workforce while continuing practicing music or art and they are perfectly content, if not very happy about their choice to follow their passion and continue their journey in their skills.

  3. Unfortunately I am the generation that is going to have many problems finding jobs and obtaining financial security. We are forced to pay thousands to obtain the education needed for the desired careers and salary in an over saturated market. It is time to create an opportunity for yourself. Find some way to set yourself apart from all the other job seeking masses or live the American Dream and set your own path. Either way get ready to fight for a spot in the market.

  4. Many people now say that the career benefits that used to require a college degree now require a graduate degree, as well. Still, I think it is good to get some full-time work experience (even if it isn't a dream job) before going to graduate school.