From University of Michigan Econ Professor Justin Wolfers and the Bureau of Labor Statistics comes the following chart on why it’s important to get your college degree:
Unemployment rate for some college = 5.7% ish
Unemployment rate for High School diploma = 6.2% ish
Unemployment rate for No High School diploma = 9% ish
The one thing I found most interesting from this chart is the closeness between high school diploma and some college/Associate degree. There is virtually no difference. I think this would change considerably if you pulled out those Associate degree folks who got a two year degree in some sort of skilled trade.
Otherwise just going to college, and not graduating, is virtually the same as just going to high school and graduating. I wonder how this might all change with companies like Google claiming they will hire people without a degree?
With organizations like the Kahn Academy, you can virtually get an Ivy League education from the comfort of your parents basement. How long does it take for those statistics to catch up with our current reality? When does the ease of access of education online change the numbers above?
Maybe a better question is, do you ever see a time when Fortune 1000 type of organizations will not use ‘college degrees’ as a main criteria for screening out potential candidates? That’s a huge shift in perspective, but with pre-employment screening tools continuing to advance, we aren’t too far away from having the ability to accurately measure two individuals: one with a degree, one without, to see which one would really be the better ‘job’ fit.
In the mean time – go to school kids!