College Can Be a Costly Mistake — Consider Apprenticeships

Political News

The conventional wisdom in America for the last several decades has been that if a young person doesn’t go to college, he or she has almost no chance of success in life. Politicians like Barack Obama extolled college as the way to ensure a good job.

But, as many have found out, college is very expensive and often does little or nothing to give the student any marketable skills.

In today’s Martin Center article, engineer Kent Misegades makes the case for considering apprenticeships.

He writes, “In Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, apprenticeships–not college–have been the primary route into careers for four centuries. Many graduates go on to earn college degrees when these are of benefit, for instance MBAs are popular among former apprentices-turned-entrepreneurs.”

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And in the U.S., apprenticeship programs are making a comeback. With just a little effort, students and their families can find programs that will get them into the workforce much sooner and without incurring a mountain of debt.

Misegades observes, “In addition to the obvious advantages of an apprenticeship–no need for long, expensive college degrees with their large amount of worse-than-useless ideological teaching, early financial independence, guaranteed employment, etc.– this form of career is the ideal means for entrepreneurial-minded people to start their own businesses. No customer will ever ask to see your college diploma before making a purchase decision for a product or service from your own business.”

In about 40 years, a college degree went from signaling some degree of accomplishment to often being just an empty credential. It will be a sign of national recovery when we get out of the bad “college is for everyone” habit.

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