May 15, 2012
Responding to gloomy recent opining, Neil Beck, a savvy political science professor at NYU, assesses the data on whether a college degree is worth it these days. His conclusion:
In brief, the current job market is bad for everyone, including recent college graduates (and other youth seeking a first job), and the costs of long term unemployment or underemployment are high. But it is not responsible to tell college students that their lives will be terrible unless they study engineering, and that the career prospects or current college graduates are orders of magnitude worse than a decade ago. Neither of those statements are consistent with current data.
Disclosure: Neil and I have been friends since graduate school. But he’s right nonetheless. I teed off on the Frank Bruni column Beck corrects here.