Saturday, June 6, 2009

Even in a depressed economy, education matters

My friendly message to those who are so hostile towards higher education that they can't see straight is to consider the following: those with college or university degrees (at at least the Bachelors level) are weathering the nasty economic conditions far better than those without degrees.

The figures provided at Calculated Risk are from last year, and of course the usual caveat applies:
Note that the unemployment rate has risen sharply for all categories in 2009. For "less than a high school diploma" the rate has increased from 9% in [2008] to almost 16% in May.
I fixed a typo in the quote made by the original author.

Of course, it's important to remember that things aren't necessarily rosy for those with 4-year degrees, or those with Masters, Professional, or Doctoral degrees - just that we're having an easier time hanging on to jobs and finding new jobs. Barring the collapse of civilization (which I seriously doubt will happen in my lifetime), I don't see any reason for that dynamic to change.

In the meantime, the usual word to the wise applies: if you're in school, stay in school. If your state's legislature is hostile toward higher education (those of us living in "red" states are accustomed to open hostility towards higher ed. among those who control our respective state capitols), at bare minimum this would be a good time to educate those legislators as to the consequences of further cutting education budgets and further attempts to make a college education less accessible (for example a state population that's less employed and less employable, and less able to take advantage of whatever economic recovery might transpire at some point in the next decade). Of course, if your legislators don't care about such matters, election years are a good time to throw the bloody bums out.

No comments:

Post a Comment