Will College Degrees be Worthless in 2020?

Forty or so years or more ago, meeting someone who completed their bachelor’s degree was unlikely. Most Americans were going into labor and trade positions, and few could afford college. 

Fast track to today where loans, grants, and scholarships are popular and readily available.  Having a degree doesn’t stand out on a resume like it used to. Businesses now prefer Master’s degrees or better, and those can also lose value as you acquire them. In a recent job search, we noticed that companies are often putting “bachelors degree or similar experience” under degree expectations. 

The simple fact is most industries move at lightning speed. The information you learn in a college textbook was outdated before you joined the class. It’s possible to achieve skills like punctuality, meeting deadlines and working with a team while in college. The issue is the real-life experience and current tactics that are missing. 

Unpaid internships and revenue-share trade schools are becoming more popular as we enter the 20’s.  These programs assign a cohort of students with a hands-on mentor. The curriculum consists of the basics of the industry including tools and suggestions for software-specific program certifications. The assigned mentor also teaches resume building and interview skills. Students are taking these 4-month courses that cover job training that end up landing them careers making over $40,000 per year. Companies like Gen M are completely changing how people learn marketing by teaching first, then compensating themselves by taking a small portion of the salary the student earns in their new job. 

The truth is that college is overpriced and gets more expensive for those who have to finance it. 1 in 5 college graduates aren’t even working in a job that requires them to have a degree, yet they are paying loan installments for a career they never entered. Some are finding the degree they originally wanted is no longer their passion. It is rare for a person to have the exact same personality from adolescence to their late 20’s. Our society forces 18-year-olds to decide their future and take on an immense amount of debt they can’t possibly understand. Over 44.7 million Americans have student loan debt, totaling over 1.47 trillion. The amount of credit card and auto loans doesn’t even supersede this. 

E-learning is on the rise as our schedules become tighter and inflexible. Even companies are opted to choose their own e-learning platforms and curriculums to train their employees. Eventually, brick and mortar classrooms will be the thing of the past as the digital age takes over every aspect of life. 

College isn’t a breeding ground for innovation and creativity. The people we see in charge are not making a difference by doing what others before them have. They coming up with new ways to solve problems. A common argument is that people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs never attended university and were both wildly successful.  It has become more and more obvious that your College degree may just be worthless by 2020.