I hate to be so repetitive, but that’s just the way it has to be, I guess. I say this because I just wrote about the declining value of a college education. In that post, I remarked that not only has student debt tripled in the last eight years, but tuition and fees have doubled in the past ten years, just as real earnings of college graduates have declined by 15 percent.
As if those facts weren’t indicative enough of college’s devaluation, there’s one other that I stumbled across just this morning.
According to business owners, graduates are poorly equipped for the professional world, particularly in the ways of critical thinking ability, adaptability, and effective communication.
Karin Fischer of the Chronicle for Higher Education writes,
Employers value a four-year college degree, many of them more than ever.
Yet half of those surveyed recently by The Chronicle and American Public Media’s Marketplace said they had trouble finding recent graduates qualified to fill positions at their company or organization. Nearly a third gave colleges just fair to poor marks for producing successful employees. And they dinged bachelor’s-degree holders for lacking basic workplace proficiencies, like adaptability, communication skills, and the ability to solve complex problems.
“Woefully unprepared” is how David E. Boyes characterized the newly minted B.A.’s who apply to his Northern Virginia technology consulting company.
What gives? These days a bachelor’s degree is practically a prerequisite for getting your résumé read—two-thirds of employers said they never waive degree requirements, or do so only for particularly outstanding candidates. But clearly the credential leaves employers wanting. While they use college as a sorting mechanism, to signal job candidates’ discipline and drive, they think it is falling short in adequately preparing new hires. [...]
Sine Nomine Associates, Mr. Boyes’s firm, works with high-tech companies like Cisco and IBM. However, it’s fundamental abilities that he says recent graduates lack, like how to analyze large amounts of data or construct a cogent argument. “It’s not a matter of technical skill,” he says, “but of knowing how to think.”
So, in the four years it roughly takes to acquire a bachelor’s degree, students are not only frittering away tens of thousands of dollars and loading up on debt, but they are also graduating with a pitiable skill set. The concomitant decline in real earnings for college graduates is merely adding salt to an already gaping wound.
College graduates nowadays can’t reason very cogently, communicate very effectively, or, to top it all off, even be bothered to understand civics so as to be better informed in political discourse. At least they went to some cool parties, took some cool classes, and met some interesting people!
Heaven help us.
My generation of poor thinkers and communicators is the fruit of apostasy. Our liberalized, godless culture infects children first at home, then in our public schools, and finally in our colleges and universities. By the time colleges get their hands on students, they are almost powerless to reverse the damage that has already been done by parents and schools. Colleges aren’t blameless, though, since they, too, drink from the same fetid waters. It’s no accident that, as the numbers of infantilized college graduates have swelled, so has the concentration of liberalism among college freshmen. But it’s not just that human capital has diminished as of late—civic knowledge among college graduates has waned over time, as well.