Archive - 2016

Must all Graduates Wander Aimlessly in Their Twenties?

selingo-bookUntil recently, a bachelor’s degree was a sure ticket to social mobility and a promising career. But today’s graduates face unprecedented headwinds in the form of declining wages, ballooning student debt, and greater competition for fewer jobs.

That’s the case journalist Jeff Selingo makes in an insightful new book, There is Life After College (HarperCollins). “The plight of today’s young adults,” writes Selingo, “is a result of a longer-term shift in the global workforce that is having an outsized impact on people in their twenties who have little work experience.”

Selingo presents his case persuasively. Young adult unemployment is at its highest point in four decades, peaking at 9 percent a few years ago. Of arguably greater consequence, nearly half of college graduates in their twenties are underemployed, beating out their less educated peers for barista and clerical jobs. With a glut of supply, employers can be choosy, leading to the increasingly common “unpaid internship” expectation, and other forms of “try before you buy” hiring. To make matters worse, student debt loads among recent graduates are at an all-time high and starting salaries are barely budging. While Mom and Dad once beamed when their child received his or her diploma, the uncertainty and instability of the early professional years now give parents reason to worry afresh.

Read the rest of it.

Is Voting for Donald Trump a Morally Good Choice?

Is Voting for Donald Trump a Morally Good Choice?

Last week Dr. Wayne Grudem published an article arguing that voting for Donald Trump is a morally good choice. I wrote a response. An excerpt:

I agree with Dr. Grudem that character is not the only factor to consider. But there is a character threshold that we should expect any candidate to meet. A man who owns his vices as if they were virtues, who talks proudly about “going after the families” of suspected terrorists, who has profited from strip clubs, who is by all accounts a pathological liar, who disparaged a disabled journalist, who insulted POWs, who criticized the looks of a rival’s wife, is unworthy of the office of president.

In addition, I suspect Trump’s personal flaws are so pervasive that they would seriously interfere with his ability to enact the helpful policies that Dr. Grudem believes Trump will implement. Notice Trump’s profound inability to stay on message, in recent days needlessly resurrecting past rivalries while opening a feud with Khizr and Ghazala Khan (parents of an Army Captain who gave his life to save others on the battlefield). When we consider Trump’s brash temperament, impulsiveness, and unwillingness to learn, along with his pettiness and tendency to make everything about him, I lack confidence that he can successfully work with Congress to implement the helpful parts of his platform.

Read the whole thing.

Only 11% of employers think graduating students have the skills that their businesses need

Now HiringHow can employers be simultaneously unhappy with the quality of recent graduates and more desirous of hiring people with greater amounts of formal education? Ryan Craig, founding Managing Director of University Ventures, writes:

What we’re seeing from employers—the ultimate consumers of higher education—is the result of dissatisfaction with the current level of talent being produced by colleges and universities. Employers are dissatisfied and are flailing about for answers. For many employers, this means credential inflation—requiring certain degrees for jobs that previously didn’t require them. An equally logical response for others is openness to alternative credentials.

Read the whole thing.

5 Suggestions for Getting a College Degree Without Going Broke

collegeThough it may have gotten buried with the New Year’s holiday, I had an article published in Fox News Opinion on how to get a college degree without going broke. I outlined five things every student can do. Here’s the opening:

The disappearance of low-skilled jobs and a rising earnings premium sparked a dramatic uptick in college enrollment over the past few decades.

At first, students could afford it, graduating with minimal (if any) debt, and entering an expanding job market with rising wages.

But now? Real median household income is down 6.5% from 2007-2014. Salaries for 25-34 year olds have remained stagnant for a decade. Meanwhile, the price of college continues its precipitous rise. And countless students and families feel caught between a rock and a hard place: They can’t afford to send their kids to college, but their kids can’t afford not to have degrees.

Read the whole thing.

I outline five things students can do to get a degree without going broke.

1.Prioritize value over prestige when choosing a college.

2. Leverage skills to earn higher wage income during college.

3. Have a game plan to finish.

4. Be expeditious about graduating.

5. Have a greater understanding of how the system works.

These are unpacked further in my book, Beating the College Debt Trap.