By Professor Doom
For years now, higher ed administration has watered, and watered, and watered down what it means to have a college degree. Instead of making higher education about education, they made it about growth. Not once in my lifetime in higher education have the “leaders” shown even the slightest interest in education, but I can’t even begin to count the number of times they gloated about achieving growth in a system where anyone who can check a box can enter.
It’s no secret to those in higher education that the goings on in college are nothing like they used to be. At many universities, coursework has been eliminated almost completely, while community college campuses are unhinged, using the bogus accreditation system to get away with what can easily and accurately be called fraud. A degree from a community college is hardly worth more than a 9th grade graduation certificate.
Meanwhile, tuition skyrockets, and people come into the system ever more desperate to get a degree, because they’re told the big lie of “People with a college degree will earn a million more bucks.” Now, maybe, in the past, any college degree legitimately translated into more money, but it takes little imagination to guess that today’s degrees, with their requirements reduced to less than a high school diploma of a generation ago, are worth very little.
Imagination? My bad, it takes no imagination, as it is now understood as fact:
Ernst & Young, one of the UK’s biggest graduate recruiters, has announced it will be removing the degree classification from its entry criteria, saying there is “no evidence” success at university correlates with achievement in later life.
Now, I grant the above concerns a recruiter in the UK, but that gives me more concern, not less, about the value of a degree in the US. See, I’ve been following higher ed in the UK, because their higher education system is at least a decade behind ours in terms of corruption. Yes, they have the golden parachute model for their administrators…but it’s not yet as infuriating as here. Yes, they have the bloating out of the questionable degree programs which actually hurts a graduate’s income, and they even know those programs are not useful…but the bloating there is an echo of what happened in the US, years earlier.
So, if degrees in the UK are worthless now, it’s a safe bet that many degrees handed out in the US, starting a decade or so ago, are worthless also. We have whole schools handing out bogus coursework and degrees now, after all.
In the US, the whole point of a college degree, for most graduates, isn’t the knowledge, and hasn’t been the knowledge for a long time now. It’s been about access, about getting one of those golden jobs which only a college degree holder can apply for. Who cares about going tens of thousands of dollars into debt, if doing so is the only way to get a high paying job, right?
Considering how so many degrees requiring nothing besides tuition checks which don’t bounce, why should it mean anything else? But what will happen once it becomes common knowledge how little a degree represents?
“Academic qualifications will still be taken into account and indeed remain an important consideration when assessing candidates as a whole, but will no longer act as a barrier to getting a foot in the door,” she said.
So…why go deep into debt for a degree now?
Please understand, recruiters are not idiots. They don’t make major changes to how they determine a candidate’s worth lightly. They looked at the data, and came to the rather obvious conclusion that spending 4 to 6 years drinking beer and talking about feelings doesn’t mean much:
“It found no evidence to conclude that previous success in higher education correlated with future success in subsequent professional qualifications undertaken.”
--emphasis added: there’s as much evidence success in college will help you as there is Trump is a Russian stooge.
So, the data says a degree is worthless. If this was just one recruiter, we could easily discard this as a special case, but other recruiters are figuring it out:
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is believed to be the first major employer to exclude UCAS points from its employment process,
--UCAS points in the UK are roughly comparable to grade point average in the US. College GPA in the US is already known as useless.
PricewaterhouseCoopers aren’t exactly nobodies, they’ve recruited on my campuses.
In the US, people are starting to seriously question if a college degree is worth the ever more astronomical price. For many degrees, it’s a sign of foolishness to spend years of your life and go many thousands of dollars into debt to acquire them. If you put “BA in Women’s Studies” on your resume, it doesn’t help if you have a 4.0 GPA.
What will happen if “college recruiters” decide they’ll have better luck finding good candidates if they just stay off campus, and instead decide that the smarter people are the 18 year olds who know nothing but have no debt, instead of the 24 year olds who’ve financially destroyed themselves learning nothing?
If there’s no education, and no job, what exactly will higher ed have to offer a high school graduate? Besides pointless debt, I mean. Can higher ed survive when it's well known their ridiculously expensive degrees have no value?
I sure don’t have an answer, but I suspect the real world will provide one fairly soon.