Is a College Degree Still Important?
The unemployment rate of 20- to 24-year-olds with college degrees reached 9.6% at the end of 2010. Maybe it's time to rethink Obama's emphasis on investing in education. New York Times economist Paul Krugman says that advances in technology are gradually reducing the demand for highly educated workers. Computers are getting better at imitating human reasoning, and software has been slowly replacing human decision makers such as tax accountants and paralegals. Since the 1990s, high-wage and low-wage employment has grown rapidly, but medium-wage jobs - the kind necessary to sustain a strong middle class - are being slowly replaced by new technologies and outsourcing.
An educated population is essential to any functioning democracy, but Krugman raises a good point when he says that the government should go from from merely making sure every one earns a college degree, to reassessing and remodeling education policies so they accommodate the economic impact of emerging technologies to avoid wasting potential human capital.
Easier said than done probably, but a first step in the right direction?