That’s the headline on a blog entry at Phi Beta Cons by George Leef, director of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in North Carolina. In his post, he directs our attention to an article about high-achieving students in England who choose jobs in manufacturing over university.
The Guardian published a fascinating piece on April 12 entitled “High-achieving students sailing through life without a degree.” The writer interviewed several excellent students who have gone straight into the workforce and are doing well without a college degree. Jamie Ponting, for example, at 19 decided against a university education (and 30,000 pounds of debt) to go to work full time for a firm where he had done a summer internship.
Another student, Katy Pascoe, went to work for a firm that builds yachts. Katy thinks she has excellent prospects with the firm if she successfully completes her internship, which for the first year included classroom learning. There’s a strong motivation!
The article also mentions a survey of university students showing that two-thirds do not believe they will find work relating to their degree, and a fourth saying that they think they’d have been better off with an apprenticeship or on-the-job training.
Would young people like those be any more productive if they had first spent years and lots of money to earn a college degree? I don’t think that case can be made.
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