The Benefits Of A College Education

Tyler Durden's picture

... Are what again? As the following graphic from IBD demonstrates, for the first time in history, a majority of jobless workers over 25 have attended some college, and now outnumber those without a job who simply have a high school diploma or less. But at least those in the fomer category have tens of thousands of non-dischargeable debt to show for it.

From IBD:

Out of 9 million unemployed in April, 4.7 million had gone to college or graduated and 4.3 million had not, seasonally adjusted Labor Department data show.


That's a swing of more than 2 million since the start of 1992, early in another jobless recovery, when 4.1 million who hadn't gone to college were jobless vs. 2.3 million jobless who had gone.


Mostly, this dramatic shift reflects broad demographic forces. A greater share of the population has attended college, at least for a time. Meanwhile, older Americans who were less likely to pursue higher education are exiting the work force.


In 2011, 57% of those 25 and up had attended some college vs. 43% in 1992. Those without a high school diploma fell from 21% to 12% over that span.


But along with the increasing prevalence of college attendance has come a growing number of dropouts, who have left school burdened by student loan debt but without much to kick-start their careers.


For those in the labor force — either with a job or in active pursuit of one — 57% of high-school grads with no college (2.9 million of 5.1 million) have found a full-time job.


For labor force members who have attended — and left — college or earned an associate degree, a depressing 64% (2.2 million of 3.5 million) have gained full-time employment.


Among everyone up to age 24 who has left college or earned a two-year degree — including those not actively searching — the full-time employment-to-population ratio has plummeted from 69% in 2000 to 62% in 2003 to 54%.

The good news? That part-time worker you are hiring at minimum wage likely has two Masters Degrees... and a Ph.D. (in economics).

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BeachBanker007's picture

when does tyler start giving out diplomas?

LasVegasDave's picture

Stay stupid my friends,

Stay stupid

Sancho Ponzi's picture

'Stay stupid my friends,

Stay stupid'

...and move to Vegas where you fit right in.

dlmaniac's picture

Colleges have gotta be one of the most laughable on-going scams now. When your kids go to college they

  • take on a student loan debt worth of half an average mortgage payment.
  • receive no house for that half mortgage (people chased 04-06 housing bubble at least have a house to show for)
  • receive no proper training even after 4 years to land a job either (so that they could pay that house-less mortgage off).

Best example of what "royally f***ed" looks like.


Akrunner907's picture

College would be great if it focused on building a person for a trade, and reduced the "liberal" side of education.  It is wonderful for someone to learn about medival religion or the formation of human cohabitation, but people can learn that after they have learned their trade and entered the workforce.  The focus of college should be to push the frontiers:  where education of sciences are pushed.  I would love to see more engineers, chemists, physicists, medical doctors, etc.  I would like to see less journalists, attorneys, etc.



LetThemEatRand's picture
"College would be great if it focused on building a person for a trade, and reduced the "liberal" side of education."
- Kings and Oligarchs hate those who can think for themselves.  They love you.

"The phrase liberal arts (Latin: artes liberales) refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects (called the Trivium) were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy (which included the study of astrology). This extended curriculum was called the Quadrivium. Together the Trivium and Quadrivium constituted the seven liberal arts of the medieval university curriculum.   In modern times liberal arts is a term which can be interpreted in different ways. It can refer to certain areas of literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, psychology, and science.[1] It can also refer to studies on a liberal arts degree program. For example, Harvard University offers a degree of Master of Liberal Arts, which covers biological and social sciences as well as the humanities.[2] For both interpretations, the term generally refers to matters not relating to the professional, vocational, or technical curricula."  Wikipedia.  I don't usually rely on Wikipedia, but the definition is roughly accurate.  Think (if possible) about why the oligarchs would want you to learn a trade, and not learn how to think and reason.
Sophist Economicus's picture

Holy shit Rand, I think this is probably the first of your posts I agree with!


Of course, the view you espouse is, uhm, very 'Randian'...

LetThemEatRand's picture

You do have a philosophy degree, I recall.

Funny how some can only understand and relate to that that from which they personally dervived benefit.  Rand liked smoking because... she smoked.  You agree with my one post because I happened to ratify your own life experience.  Think about it  and feel free to employ your area of study.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



I am told that the four-year tuition at Yale University has cost the same, roughly 125 ounces of gold, for more than 120 years.  

Maybe it is the dollar that is declining in value, not education?

CharlieSDT's picture

Sarah Lawrence College costs $59,170.

Sarah Lawrence College? $59,170? What for? I don’t hear much about alumni from Sarah Lawrence College going on to make a bunch of money as CEO of GE or some other criminal organization like Goldman Sachs. No, Sarah Lawrence is just another one of many of America’s snooty overpriced liberal arts colleges mainly composed of girls (73% of the school is female) who think they’re sensitive and gifted and special and smart and major in Women’s Studies, Victorian Literature, Environmental Policy or some other equally useless bullshit.

With the government interfering with the interest rates and subsidizing/guaranteeing student loans, it’s created a lot of free money in education. That means since money is so cheap for college, colleges can raise their tuition across the board and create a whole generation of debt servants.

Akrunner907's picture

My comment is lost on you.....but that is okay.  Make peace with yourself for what comes this way.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Enlighten me about what I missed....

Leraconteur's picture

You do not need to attend college or university to get the education you claim has value.

-Get a computer

-Read Wikipaedia

-d/l syllabii from your fav Liberal Arts College

-Buy those books

-Start reading

People need to work. Knowing Classical Greek Literature can come later, for nearly free, on one's own time. Financial education is found right here on ZH.

We have millions of LA degree holders who are idiots, out of work, massively in debted, and cannot foam a latte'.

Lore's picture

On the matter of post-secondary academic practicality: 

Beware of schools whose curricula are subsumed and faculties hijacked by worshippers of "Green" Agenda 21. Over the next 5-10 years you'll notice a wave of heavily-indebted, global warming-brainwashed socialist zealots looking for work with a chip on their shoulder and hunger for power, wanting nothing better than to tell you how to build your "sustainable" homes and where to buy your "sustainable" groceries. In the looming Greater Depression, they will mistakenly see themselves as an enlightened underclass, a catalyst for reform. Their idealistic utopian visions of sugarplums will require nonexistent capital. They won't get their way, and they won't like it, and won't understand why. Radical excuses will be embraced, no matter how unjustifiable. They will become cruel, having swallowed "overpopulation" and "unsustainability" propaganda. There's going to be a lot of anger and ruthlessness - ageism on steroids - as these people take out their frustrations on their decadent Boomer elders. Oligarchs will feed and exploit the generational gap. It will be smoke and mirrors, just like after every other crisis in history.

nickt1y's picture

And how does this venerable Liberal Arts Traditional education resemble the pap that is taught now? The skulls of mush that attend Liberal Arts education today are not taught to reason or think for themselves. They are fed the party line, deviation from said line results in bad things happening to both student and deviating faculty.

TPTB fear a tradesman working for himself. He can start his own business, barter and move to kinder tax jurisdictions if forced to. The tradesman is also much more aware of the impedements that regulation and taxation place in his way. How many liberal trades people have you encountered? As a trades person myself I will answer from my experience and say very few. The liberals I encounter are safely burried in the belly of the beast ..corporatists ... lawerys .... the very cogs of the machine.

billsykes's picture

I kind of like the Swiss way where you have to take a trade after graduating HS, then go to college/university.  I also think some of the liberal component like poetry, Shakespeare, fiction, etc should be done away with - most people do not write 2000 word essays about a book they read or compose a haiku to win new business.  Same with math, get it functional, tailor it out of the 1st yr to your major- but school is really not about education its about servitude, doing what you are told and not questioning authority. 


If you want to write about Shakespeare or haiku's start a blog.  It just boggles me that it takes 12 years to learn nothing, then another 4 to solidify that knowledge, so that bitchz interns can get my dry cleaning.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Neither a borrower nor a lender be.  

Those who do not learn history....

Never mind.  Lost on you.

Tapeworm's picture

GARY NORTH has written extensively on just how to go about getting a certificated degree by way of pretty good schools that work on the net.

 FWIW, all of the MIT undergraduate studies are on the net for no charge. One will not get a degree from that, but it surely will point a studious kid on what they consider worth studying. Khan is a tremendous source. 

 I happen to agree with you on a classical education if one can do it on ther own by using the fantastic tools on the net. What little I know was "self taught" by buying books that I found to be worthwhile based upon recommendations from people that I trusted for thinking the way that I would want to think if I was competent.

Tapeworm's picture

Oddly enough, in the mid 1970's when I was in my mid 20's, I found a lot of good trails to follow from my short term infatuation with Rand.

 I have a very large library of titles that I have bought over the past decades. I do not have the academic discipline to read them with understanding, but I will give it a try when I can get off of the whirl. I only can have hope of some liesure time to do that as I went for hard cash when it was cheap.

 MY BEST TO YOU>____ damned keyboard.

mjk0259's picture

That can be done in high school. Most high schools have a vo-tech that teaches auto repair, hvac, etc. I know several recent college graduates that  majored in biological sciences - working at supermarkets or as waiters. It's not only the liberal arts majors that are screwed. Even computer science is no guarantee unless you have demonstrated skills which you can do without going to college if you are motivated.

Habib's picture

Depends on what your major is in college. Undergrad was Zoology. It was a "hard science", but no jobs out there so.....on to grad school. MBA track that time, but it was 30+ years ago. I'll never forget the survey they did that told me I was in the minority (5%) that was planning on becoming an entrepreneur. The rest all went to work for Fortune 500 companies.

I was horrified with my classmates, but went right ahead with my plans. That MBA made all the difference in the world. I've worked for other folks off and on, but my biggest income is/was working for myself. It was the most fun too, which was a nice perk.

So a college degree was worth it for me, and I couldn't have done what amounted to be a really successful career without it in my area. I probably broke even on it in three years, but I did pretty well on my own. Student loans? The only reason I took a small one out (I don't remember that I was able to hobble myself with the amount of debt the current kids take on), was that I could get 18% in a money market back then, and the loan rate was only about 4-5%. A no brainer on that one, but university teaching, and outside consulting while in grad school was fairly lucrative back then. As I recall I had the loan paid off in a couple of years.

A college degree is a big plus, but you better be a pragmatist when you select your degree. A degree in the arts is a waste of time and money.

blunderdog's picture

Silly.  If you want a job, study what will be useful and get you paid: learn to speak Spanish and Mandarin fluently.

That's all you need.  Engineers and chemists and such are a dime a dozen if you pull them from the right countries.

francis_sawyer's picture

Would you like fries with that diploma? A shake? Apple pie?

For a dollar more you could turn it into a graduate degree combo meal...

Freddie's picture

Hope & Change with the islamic.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

That's it, Freddie, keep repeating what the media have told you to believe.

And consume, consume,


cnhedge1's picture

Are concerns over a Greek Euro exit overdone ?

Is the Euro area Credibly on Target?

I am Jobe's picture

For Girls it is prostitution

For Guys, USSA is GAY now, so there is a future in Metrosexual Showrooms and Stores.

I guess that pretty much sums up College Education

For everything H1B Visas


MFL8240's picture

This is the Obama record in a nutshell!  A disgrace!

ghengis86's picture

The slope from 2000-2008 isn't much better.

raymondrza's picture

2001 looks like the culprit.

Spitzer's picture

yeah so the USA could get all that oil in afganistan

StychoKiller's picture

yeah so the USA could get all that oil ACROSS afganistan

Fixed ya right up, there! :>D

Freddie's picture

This place is still filled with Dems and Hussein lovers. 

Idiot Savant's picture

Sadly, it's also filled with morons that think there's a difference between the parties.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Uneducated morons, ironically.

DaveyJones's picture

I've met a lot more "educated" morons than un 

LetThemEatRand's picture

I'm talking about posters here.  For this story.  

BKbroiler's picture

Funny how the trolls come out and prove you do need some sort of an education, at least if you want respect on ZH.

cbxer55's picture

Makes me glad I never went to college. Never had the time, work ya know. Parents did not have the money, and even if they had, I would not in my life have allowed them to pay for me to go to college. Once I turned 18, my life - my responsibility.

Rainman's picture

The street is where you really get educated anyway...all other training forgotten.

nmewn's picture

Thumbs up Rainman.

No amount of "investment" can prepare one for the real world. And there is a special place in hell reserved for those who prey on the hopes & dreams of the young and naive.

Here's one I noticed trying to get out in front of the coming days of rage...after stoking the source of the rage for decades...

Not everyone can be the next Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Einstein, Tesla but many are encouraged to believe they are (even though the object knows they are not)...positive reinforcement of known deficiencies is no virtue, it's a lie, a vice.

It takes curiosity, drive, accepting failure as a given stepping stone to ultimate success, love of what you do for yourself or others...and that you may not be recognized for all your passion for what it is that enthralls you till long after you are may never get present day accolades from your peers, no great wealth or just know you are right and it consumes you to prove it and share it.

All the above are attributes of birth. No degree will give you this.

piceridu's picture

+... this also comes to mind:

What a bright young lady

Psyman's picture

Please throw your 17 year old daughter out on the street to be "educated."  I've got a "job" for her to do.  She'll "work" for food, right?

Psyman's picture

I just like to mock this attitude that everyone should throw their children to the wolves the minute they turn 18.


I guess that explains the numerous toothless trailer whores and drug addicted street walkers in Las Vegas.


Keep up the good work, parent of the year alumni, there is strong market demand for cheap young flesh in this country.

LetThemEatRand's picture

I should have disclaimed my comment.  I agree with your point above.

Milestones's picture

Cole Porter's song "Love for Sale" comes to mind.                     Milestones

Psyman's picture

Most young people are not raised to be self reliant.  They are raised to be wards of their parents until they can pass them on to become wards of the government via our social welfare state.  The state of the economy isn't helping things.  Only the absolute best of the best 18 year olds can even survive on their own these days.