Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid. In fact, I went into an intoxicated stupor and I am still recovering.
The Kool-Aid is the idea that college is the only way to success. I grew up believing it, and went ahead and did everything I needed to do to make that happen. I took this all the way to a Ph.D.
I’m here to tell you it is not necessary.
Well, not always, at least.
See, there are those who definitely need a college degree. I would not want to be seen by a doctor who did not go to medical school, or have my grandchildren taught by someone without the proper training. But, the majority of careers today (and in the future) will not require a college degree. More than likely, skills training programs will become the norm if colleges and universities do not fix the way they operate.
For those who venture out and attend college, there are some compelling facts.
- Of those who attended college, 47% feel they debt they have incurred makes it hard to see the value of their qualifications. In other words, almost half the graduates polled feel their accomplishment is way overpriced.
- Only 51% of college students graduate…within SIX years! This means that four years to complete a college education is no longer the norm, and that almost half of students still don’t do it in six years. Some even drop out altogether!
Are there other options?
Interestingly enough, this is the same question that almost half of students polled would have wanted answered. In fact, 46% of college graduates indicated they wish they would have known about other options before going to college.
This says a lot.
Students who learn their options and attend vocational schools to learn skills and trades do not miss the “college experience” as one would imagine. One study showed that only 19% of vocational school graduates regret missing out on the college experience. This means the majority of students who learn their options and decide on a trade that is best for them are fully content with their decision and do not feel the need to “experience” college.
All too often, students find themselves stuck after discovering college is not for them, wishing they could find answers. We must begin the conversation of presenting ALL post-secondary options before high school graduation so students make the most informed decisions. Research demonstrates that students want options, and students are not always content with their decision to go to college.
Share this post, and let the student in your life know that there are options aside from college. Let’s take on the notion that a college degree is the only route toward success. The numbers do not lie, and it is up to us to help students find what is right for them.
I am up for the challenge; are you?