What happened to the value of a college education in America? What happened to the ROI that parents expect when they spend thousands of dollars to help their child obtain an undergraduate degree!?
Furthermore, what has happened to the immediate job opportunities and the immediate distinction that were previously afforded to proud college graduates?
Here is a small part of the story. According to The Institute for College Access and Success, 7 in 10 seniors (69%) who graduated from public and non-profit colleges in 2014 had student loan debt, with an average of $28,950 per borrower.
Between the years 2004 to 2014, the share of graduates with debt rose modestly (from 65% to 69%) while average debt at graduation rose at more than twice the rate of inflation. Makes me wonder how much worse the updated figures for 2017 are going to be.
Let that sink in. 69% of college graduates are saddled with an ‘average’ debt of $28.950.00. That’s depressing.
Further exacerbating this problem is the fact that graduates, even with specific degrees and specific training, have trouble getting placed in positions related to that same degree or training (making it more difficult for graduates to repay their debt).
I encourage you to take a look at this report produced by Jaison Abel and Richard Dietz of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. They found that the majority of U.S. college grads work in jobs that aren’t strictly related to their degrees. Second, the authors estimated that just 27 percent of college graduates had a job that was closely related to their major.
What does all this mean?
It means prospective college students and their parents have some tough choices to consider. Is there a better, more realistic path than a college education? Should one consider a trade job—especially since skilled labor is on a steep decline? After all, 55% of skilled tradesmen in the U.S. are OVER the age of 45.
So, you can go to school and learn math, calculus, history, European History, French and Russian history, economics, accounting, how to cook, how to teach, how to play the violin, how to create architectural drawings, how to serve a volleyball, how to locate Brunei on the map and you can learn Animal Husbandry.
But you won’t learn how to get a job.
You won’t learn how to get a job unless you have some other skills such as:
- How to greet a customer
- How to handle a disgruntled customer
- How to return phone calls in a respectful manner
- How to deliver consistent results, or results better than promised
- How to work within a team, and be a helpful part of that team
- How to present your company and products in an honest manner consistent with how your company performs—-not with bloated braggadocio
- How to engage your job in a way that blurs the lines between work, home, and vacation.
It’s called CUSTOMER SERVICE, and unfortunately, you can’t get that training in many colleges. It’s on the endangered species list—along with affordable tuition.
BUT if you can find a way to get degree in customer service, you’ll never have to worry about getting a job. EVER!!