Letter of the Day (Nov. 25): The purpose of college

  • Updated: November 24, 2013 - 4:54 PM

Either fewer will attend or more will seek advanced degrees, perhaps pointlessly.

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Over the past several decades, it has become increasingly common for people to attend institutions of higher learning. This is wonderful. But it comes with a hidden downside. Much like the dollar, a degree is becoming worth less and less by the year.

Millions of millennials, like me, went to college expecting that once we had that diploma, we would be OK. We were never promised a six-figure salary, nor did anyone expect that. But we did expect that we would be able to get a job that paid the bills and allowed for advancement through merit.

However, 48 percent of employed college graduates are working at jobs that do not require a college degree. That number increases to 53.6 percent of millennials who are underemployed. That means that many of us spent tens of thousands of dollars for a piece of paper that got us nowhere.

So what happens now? There are two possibilities that I see: (1) The rate of people going to college decreases, or 2) postgraduate education becomes the new four-year education.

The former possibility would certainly be understood in the context of ballooning unpaid college debt, but it would mark a sad day for the future of innovation. The latter possibility, in which the only way to help guarantee aspirations is to be ahead of everyone else, continues innovation, but inflation keeps going up.

MICHAEL FRANKLIN CRAWFORD, Shoreview

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