In the past, college was a ticket to a brighter future. Now, it’s a ticket to immense debt and an uncertain financial future for far too many students. Student loan debt in the U.S. has now topped $1 trillion. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 44 percent of recent college graduates are underemployed — working in jobs that don’t require their degree — as of 2012. __ http://www.payscale.com/college-roi
A four year college education is only appropriate for about 15% to 20% of America’s youth. Most youth need to focus on developing skills and competencies in business, entrepreneurship, and the crucial practical areas of modern life.
But if one does go to college in America, where might he get his best “return on investment?”
Note: The table below is for in-state students living on campus.
The calculations are for more than 1,300 schools.
The best ROI are at public colleges and universities. “They dominate because of their relatively lower costs,” Bardaro said.
Schools that offer education in science, technology, engineering and math — known as STEM studies — also cluster at the top of the ROI list. Their graduates tend to land jobs that pay a lot more than the costs of school.
“Skills that you get in STEM studies are in heavy demand by employers,” Bardaro said.
The top five schools on this year’s list are the State University of New York’s Maritime College, Georgia Tech, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Brigham Young University and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
In percentage terms, their ROIs are 13.2% for SUNY-Maritime, 12.4% for Georgia Tech, Mass. Maritime and BYU, then 12.2% for Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Higher-priced, elitist bricks and mortar universities may in some cases provide a higher net ROI over time. But it generally takes longer to reach the breakeven point, with their much higher annual tuition costs. And even at elite schools, too many of the subject areas fail to prepare students for gainful employment.
And remember that at least 80% of youth are not well suited for four-year college degrees in the rigorous subjects that provide the best return on investment. For most, there are far better ways of getting a substantive education in life than by enduring the many hyper-exorbitant financial and personal costs of indoctrination-oriented, groupthink enforced colleges and universities.
College degrees can be obtained via distance learning, online. One may obtain an education in any number of areas of knowledge, at any age, at any time, from any location — meeting any work or family schedule. There are fewer reasons for wasting one’s time at a bricks and mortar campus, every year that goes by.
The best curriculum for Dangerous Children — and most children in general — is a curriculum that utilises self-directed, self-disciplined teaching. It must include immersion in finance and business, practical hands-on skills from cooking to heavy equipment operations to mechanical skills to the operation of transportation vehicles made for travel on air, sea, ice, snow, and ground.
By the time a Dangerous Child is 16, he already has the equivalent of a liberal arts college degree and multiple certificates of mastery for several practical skills. By the time he is 18, he is fully capable of supporting himself financially at least three different ways. If he wants to go to university for advanced training, he will have a large number of choices to pursue.
Based on the massive amount of remedial training taking place on college campuses today, it is clear that modern society does not take the education of its children seriously — at least not until they are too old to learn at critical depth, effectively. Hence the large crops of academically lobotomised, perpetually adolescent incompetents who naively march forth from college graduations every year, to almost certain disillusionment.
The best education is a Dangerous Education, and that begins before the child is born — and continues until he dies.
The above is adapted and cross-posted from the Dangerous Child blog
More: The argument for vocational training
The problem with conventional vocational training, of course, is that most youth are forced to wait until they graduate high school before they can commence serious training in developing practical competencies, such as welding, electricity / electronics, HVAC, heavy equipment and heavy construction, industrial controls and networking, cabling, pipefitting, etc. etc. In the Dangerous Child Method, children begin learning practical skills of a somewhat dangerous nature as soon as their executive functions have stabilised at a high enough level. This often occurs sometime between the ages of 8 and 10 years. This training is combined with self-directed learning in maths, history, the arts (music, dance, visual arts, writing etc.), investing / finance / entrepreneurial skills, progressive combat training, and more.
By the time the Dangerous Child is 16 he has journeyman-level skills in a wide range of practical competencies, and by the age of 18 he will have mastered at least three ways of supporting himself financially, while building savings and investment all the while. None of this “waiting until after high school, or waiting until age 18” nonsense. The “wait until college before teaching anything important” mentality is destroying the future of all societies that adopt it.
Only about 5% of college students can do STEM.
Perhaps it is a bit more fair to say that only about 5% can both do STEM — AND — WANT to do STEM. By simple IQ measure the number that can do is higher, but for a realistic number, one must focus more on the spatial and maths components of IQ. And the student’s interest and inclination matter greatly.
Fortunately for life success and happiness, it is not necessary for everyone to do STEM. In fact, too many who choose STEM fail to remain resilient or to show the independence and initiative to remain at the top of their game. Too many settle for “salary slave” positions where they are vulnerable to the economic storms that blow their employers hither and thither.
A clever janitor who starts his own business and makes the most of it can retire much richer than the average successful STEM graduate will typically do.