Young adults are rethinking the value of college
Amid the heightened demand for workers, rising cost of tuition and growing student loan burden, more would-be students are choosing career-connected pathways over four-year colleges, according to recent reports.
As enrollment falls, alternatives such as apprenticeship programs are quietly gaining steam, particularly for families anticipating the sticker shock of a college education, which currently averages around $53,430, including tuition, fees and room and board, at private colleges and $40,550 at public colleges for the 2022-23 school year, according to the College Board.
Hafeez Lakhani, Founder and President of Lakhani Coaching in New York commented: “We are a societal turning point. People at the margin are saying ‘I don’t know if I can wait four years to make a living.’”
Some experts say the value of a bachelor’s degree is fading and more emphasis should be directed toward career training. A growing number of companies, including many in tech, are also dropping degree requirements for many middle-skill and even higher-skill roles.
However, earning a degree is almost always worthwhile, according to “The College Payoff,” a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
Bachelor’s degree holders generally earn 84% more than those with just a high school diploma, the report said — and the higher the level of educational attainment, the larger the payoff.
Apprenticeships are on the rise
In an apprenticeship program, a company generally trains a student in one skill for a specific field. That often leads to a job, sidestepping the traditional college path — and costs.
Over a decade, the number of registered apprentices rose 64%, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor.