Will College Pay Off?: A Guide to the Most Important Financial Decision You'll Ever Make (英語) ハードカバー – 2015/6/9
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Adding to the confusion, the same degree can cost dramatically different amounts for different people. A barrage of advertising offers new degrees designed to lead to specific jobs, but we see no information on whether graduates ever get those jobs. Mix in a frenzied applications process, and pressure from politicians for relevant” programs, and there is an urgent need to separate myth from reality.
Peter Cappelli, an acclaimed expert in employment trends, the workforce, and education, provides hard evidence that counters conventional wisdom and helps us make cost-effective choices. Among the issues Cappelli analyzes are:
What is the real link between a college degree and a job that enables you to pay off the cost of college, especially in a market that is in constant change?
Why it may be a mistake to pursue degrees that will land you the hottest jobs because what is hot today is unlikely to be so by the time you graduate.
Why the most expensive colleges may actually be the cheapest because of their ability to graduate students on time.
How parents and students can find out what different colleges actually deliver to students and whether it is something that employers really want.
College is the biggest expense for many families, larger even than the cost of the family home, and one that can bankrupt students and their parents if it works out poorly. Peter Cappelli offers vital insight for parents and students to make decisions that both make sense financially and provide the foundation that will help students make their way in the world.
If you want to figure out what to do with your lifeor help your child do the sameCappelli tells you what you need to know. College is a sweet deal for kids who hit the trifecta: attend a reasonably priced, reputable school, choose a high-earning major, finish on time. Otherwise, buyer beware.” Barron's
[A]stutely examines the enduring relevance of a college degree... [I]lluminating statistical and survey data Cappelli's eye-opening report card on the current state of American education gives mounting tuitions a failing grade... Salient reading for students, parents, and educators on navigating toward a coveted college degree.”Kirkus Reviews
A valuable, commonsensical analysis of an ever-more-important subject.”Booklist
Cappelli's well-reasoned and documented answer helps families evaluate their options in terms of their individual financial situation. VERDICT Academic and yet highly readable, Cappelli's book provides nothing short of consumer protection to families and their students as he addresses the complexities of the higher education marketplace, the unpredictable job market, and the cost of college.”Library Journal
Thought-provoking work... The author notes that sending children to college is a huge expense that hurts many families' ability to meet other important needs, such as retirement. His focus is primarily on the US higher education system but many of the themes are universal.” Emma Jacobs, Financial Times
Informative and refreshingly skeptical.” John Cassidy, The New Yorker
The conclusions seem to be 1) get the least expensive degree from a normal, reputable university where you can have the standard, social college experience; 2) in college, focus on mental development and learning how to learn -- for example, liberal arts -- instead of the job-specific degrees, which supply knowledge that is not relevant or won't last; 3) prioritize work experience and other non-academic experience over studying and grades, unless you aim for professional grad school (med, law, etc); and 4) after you graduate, expect to change jobs and careers throughout your working life, and be prepared to re-train yourself to get new knowledge and experience.
The last point applies to everyone, and puts us all in the same boat with the workers in old industrial areas who have lost their jobs and careers as industries have changed or jobs have been exported. In the future (and even the present), everyone, including the highly educated, needs to expect and prepare to lose jobs, re-train, and find new jobs.
The cost of college has been a point of debate for a couple of decades. It is true that tuition at colleges have increased significantly over the past twenty or thirty years. Though some are worried, the response has been the same: college is worth the investment. The narrative is part of American culture: you finish high school, you go to college, you work hard, and you leave college with great job opportunities ahead of you.
Well, things are not as clear as they used to be. The great recession combined with increased globalization and rising costs, the idea that a college degree is a solid investment has become shaky.
Is college worth it?
The simple answer: Yes.
The not-so-simple answer: Yes, but it’s difficult to understand.
When you look at all the measurements, many which are presented in Will College Pay Off?, there is no clear cut answer. Let’s look at the job market. You can go online right now and search for the hottest majors in the United States. These lists can guide you to the most profitable careers right now. But what about in four years? Or five years (which is more common for college student)? Employers will always grumble and complain about the scarcity of a qualified work force, but even they lack the foresight to know what the future holds. If employers knew the future, then they manage their own educational programs – except for the fact that it is too expensive for them too run.
Furthermore, there is little correlation between grades and performance, so why would a company do the work to train you. In fact, many companies (especially banks and investing firms) will not hire college grads until they have worked for a rival company for a couple of years. This way the rival company does all the training. This, of course, leads to the problem of entry level workers trying to find years of experience.
Though this is a solid work, I have read better works on the issue of higher education costs. The author skillfully expands on solid arguments for and against colleges. I definitely liked the book, it just doesn’t sit on the top of my list of recommended readings.
The book was sometimes very dry and I had to push through to finish. But I really value what I learned from it.
Recommended for every college student or parent.