We’ve all heard the horror stories about students with college debt and who can’t find jobs to lift themselves out of that debt. But understandably, many people conclude that they still have to go through the traditional liberal-arts degree routine, because what else can they do? They need a degree to have any hope for a job.
But this article shows that certain two-year technical degrees, tied closely to particular occupations, are outperforming bachelor’s degrees across a variety of programs in terms of post-graduation income.
The caveat is that when it comes to lifetime earnings, those with the four-year degrees tend to outperform people in these technical programs. I wonder if that isn’t because our new circumstances are so new that we haven’t had long enough to study long-term earnings across enough people. Also, the two-year folks graduate with much less debt.
The point isn’t that no one should bother with a four-year degree, but simply that people shouldn’t unthinkingly enroll in such a program without giving serious thought to their academic skills, their likely lines of employment, etc.