The Great Recession has done something that seemed unimaginable just a few years ago: it has dented America’s faith in the returns on higher education. Over the past four years, the number of adults who see college as a “good investment” dropped by a quarter. The Huffington Post reports:
In 2008, 81 percent of adults thought college was a good investment. That number dropped to 57 percent, according to a national survey of 3,000 Americans commissioned by Country Financial and compiled by Rasmussen Reports.Americans are also increasingly embittered over student debt. Last year, 31 percent thought more than $20,000 in student loan debt was too much. In 2012, that number jumped to 42 percent.
Despite this striking shift in the national mood, the fact is that most jobs now require a degree past high school, and the trend lines point to yet more credentialism as the years roll on. What’s more, credentialism aside, Americans are actually going to need to know more stuff and be able to think more creatively. We need more knowledge, not less, and as the economy changes people are going to have to keep upgrading their skills and acquiring new ones all through their careers.The current educational model can’t deliver; change is on the way.