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“College costs too much” — 127 million hits.
“Is a college education really worth it?” — 209 million hits.
“Tech school is better than college education” — 1.1 billion hits.
These recent Google searches and their associated number of results clearly reflect growing concerns and public discussions around the costs of higher education and, in particular, the cost of university or college education. Shrinking state and federal budgets continue to mean students and their families are paying a larger share of higher education costs, often in the form of significant debt. Very naturally, if investments are larger, people and governments seek measurable returns.
While the purpose of education is many fold — critical thinking skills, personal and cultural enrichment, a thoughtful citizenry, and more — certainly an important goal is to prepare students to earn a living as productive citizens.
So should we be encouraging more of our students who are now pursuing a college degree to seek a technical/vocational degree?