As Tuition Costs Spike, Earnings For Americans With Degrees Falls


Skyrocketing costs and declining value. This is the problem with higher education in a nutshell:

This is why an increasing number of people are seeing the wisdom in saying no to college:

Even the staunchest critics of college concede that a diploma is still necessary for many professions — law and medicine, clearly, and in many cases, for a Fortune 500 executive, too. But that’s the point: how many more lawyers and middle managers do we need?

“College is training for managerial work, and the economy doesn’t need that many managers,” said Michael Ellsberg, the author of “The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won’t Learn In College About How to Be Successful.”

Mr. Ellsberg, 35, graduated from Brown University and spent years trying to translate his expertise in post-colonial critical theory into a paying career. So his book tries to impart real-world skills, like salesmanship and networking, which he argues are crucial as white-collar jobs are being downsized or shipped to Bangalore. The future, he added, belongs to job creators, even if the only job they create is their own.

“I’m not saying you have to be Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs,” Mr. Ellsberg said. “I know people with dog-walking businesses who make six figures.”

Higher ed officials like to wax poetic about the importance of a liberal arts education. North Dakota Higher Ed Chancellor Hamid Shirvani recently penned a lengthy and romantic defense of his industry for the state’s newspapers in advance of a legislative session in which higher ed issues are going to be central.

But Shirvani’s arguments seem to be coming from some alternate reality when we look at the practical realities of what college costs, and what the benefits are for students.

College is an increasingly bad deal for most students, and government subsidies for universities and student loans has only exacerbated the problem.

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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