Does College have a Future?

Everyone knows that the cost of attending college is going up every year. Recently, Keisha Lamothe supplied the statistics as to how much the cost is increasing in an article titled College Costs Keep Rising. I’m a college graduate from 7 years ago. I had college loans (refinanced them) that seriously ate into my income. I have a good job because of college, but I didn’t get paid very well at first – I didn’t have experience and really lacked the true skills required. Yesterday I posted an entry about the amount Alex Rodriguez adds value to the team that employs him. He didn’t go to college. I believe the worth of college is overrated in the US. Being a society of supply and demand, I feel the supply of college educated workers is starting to exceed demand. I think those that have a unique skill are going to really flourish before 10 years is out; maybe even 5.

I see two primary forces making this a reality. The first is the gain in education of the areas that weren’t part of the US/Western European/USSR faction. Countries or areas like India, China, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe are developing programs and churning out workers of quality. The second is the entrepreneurial nature of the US. As the baby boomers move out of the workforce and Generation Y becomes more prominent I see a move to situational or something similar to contract work for a great number of workers than use this method today. Generation Y has a different mentality. I’m generalizing, but Generation Y wants to enjoy what they do and doesn’t really accept not being able to it. They see traditional work and their idea of a job as an intertwined evolution of the workplace. That is great for situational work, but not necessarily for corporate life.

Now the hard part is figuring out what is a unique skill that will have value in the future marketplace. I expect it to be related to the arts or maybe a combination of art and technology.


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