Friday, September 10, 2010

Missed Connections: The College to Career Gap

Dr. Anthony Caravale of Georgetown University recently released the above titled article on huffingtonpost.com calling for a user friendly system where consumers considering a traditional four year college education can see data on what graduates of programs within these schools are earning compared to what they spent and the debt, if any, that they accrued. He argues that the Dept of Education releases data about for-profit schools based on the above; therefore the same should be true for traditional 4 years institutions as well. The main point of his article, however, is that there is a "missing link" as he terms it in our higher education system and that is its failure to adequately connect college to careers.

There was a storm of reaction to this article, including the traditional argument that 4 year programs should do more than prepare a student for a career. While I agree that 4 four year colleges should "educate" and not necessarily "prepare", I agree with Dr. Caravale that in the past there has been too much emphasis on "education" and not enough on "preparation", and this is one of the many reasons our society is in the economic mess that it is.

Are you about to advise a young person concerning purchasing a college education? Are you a young person about to do so? Are you a mid career professional considering going back to school in an effort to further and better equip yourself for the future? Consider wisely and carefully. Seek counsel and remember that while no education is ever wasted, a graduate degree or a four year degree is no longer the right answer for everyone.

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