This story in the Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/articles/a-bit-of-college-can-be-worse-than-none-at-all-1413158511, was troubling to read; and the headline did not at first appear to make sense. But, the stats point to a very troubling issue in our higher education system – one which I usually thought of only as a problem in our high schools. And this is the growing number of students who do not complete college..
“Nearly one-third of students who started college in 2012 did not return to a U.S. school the following year…” and even more telling, “roughly two-thirds of students who return to school,” according to a 2013 Career Builder survey of 2,600 hiring managers.
These same students do accumulate debt for those courses they take, however, the unfortunate burden they also carry is that merely attending some classes does not have any more impact on their earnings than if they had only completed high school. And the changing nature of the workforce is that most employers (50% in a 2013 CareerBuilder survey of 2,600 hiring managers) prefer to hire college graduates – even when the jobs they recruit for could be performed by someone with only a high school degree.
Seems to me this story supports the growing sentiment that going to college may prove too burdensome for those students for whom a two-year degree or some form of technical certification makes more sense in relation to their career -and financial- aspirations. Bottom line for high school guidance counselors: tell your seniors that if they really want to reap the personal and professional rewards of going to college, go and COMPLETE the degree!