argument top image

< Back to question Is college education worth it? Show more Show less

The ever-rising costs of a university degree, coupled with increasing numbers of unemployed graduates, has left the latest generation of students pondering over whether a college education is worth it. Do the benefits of a college degree outweigh the costs?

Yes, college education is worth it Show more Show less

University education opens career doors, provides higher-paid jobs and offers intangible benefits that improve a graduate's quality of life.
(1 of 3) Next position >

College helps you get a job

University opens career doors for graduates. A person having any form of tertiary education has higher chances to find a job than someone without. This is also reflected by a lower unemployment rate of graduates.
< (2 of 6) Next argument >

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more before voting ↓

Proponents


Context

Unemployment among university-educated workers is far lower than among those without a degree. College is, therefore, highly beneficial for securing employment.

The Argument

The unemployment rate for non-college educated workers is at 3.5%. Among those with at least an undergraduate degree, it is 2.2%.[1] You are more likely to find a job with a college degree than without one. This is because as more people go to university the educational bar is higher. A glut of university graduates in the workforce has allowed employers to prioritize those with a university degree, even for jobs that have traditionally not required any form of higher education.[2] In 1970, 28% of jobs required a college degree. Now 66% of jobs ask that candidates have received some form of higher education.[3] Additionally, 99% of new jobs created require a candidate with a university degree.[4]

Counter arguments

These statistics hide the fact that many college-educated workers are working in a job that has no need for a college degree. Around 20% of college graduates are working jobs that have no need for a college education, handing them all of the debt, without any of the economic benefits. [5] Also, the unemployment rate among recent graduates is actually higher than the unemployment rate among non-college educated workers. In the US, 4% of recent graduates are unemployed and 41% are underemployed—far higher than the national average of 3.6% and 34%. [6]

Premises

[P1] The unemployment rate of college graduates is lower than non-college educated workers. [P2] Therefore, college helps you find, and stay, employed. [P3] Therefore, a college degree is worth it.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Correlation doesn't mean causality. Many college graduates would be employed anyway as they work jobs that don't require a college degree.

References

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dereknewton/2018/12/16/please-stop-asking-whether-college-is-worth-it/#7750147530d2
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOouUYXB14E
  3. https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/trillion-dollar-infrastructure.pdf
  4. https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/Americas-Divided-Recovery-web.pdf
  5. https://www.mercatus.org/publications/federal-fiscal-policy/dysfunctions-federal-financing-higher-education
  6. https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/college-labor-market/index.html

This page was last edited on Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020 at 13:53 UTC

Explore related arguments