EdCheck: The Value of a College Education

Every year millions of youth around the world graduate from college or matriculate to an institution of higher learning. According to the NCES figures, there are close to 8000 universities and institutions of higher learning in the US, we can guess that number goes up decidedly throughout the world. However, the value of that education likely varies widely by country, region and industry age. These are important factors to consider for students deciding on a field of study.

According to a USA World News Report, History, English, and Liberal Arts/Sciences were the most popular courses of study for American students. In other parts of the world, students go into engineering, medicine and law—however, clever we think these education choices, the market soon proves the veracity of those decisions.

In many developing economies huge gaps in expertise create huge industry vacuums that hurt growth. Often times, encourage by Western media and wealth ideals, students strive for majors that do not convert effectively in the current markets in their country. The plethora of educational choices today are both a blessing and a curse. For older economies like the U.S.A., France and Europe the offering for education only went to the most elite and most expertise was learned or discovered. Unfortunately, today, youths from developing nations may take a course of study that may have no applicability in their own economy.

Bridging the expertise divide may require developing economies to focus on training people in the areas of need rather than require a degree. Few know this is truly how the West was won here in the United States. The U.S. Land Grant College Act of 1862 essentially helped American gain critical skills to develop America’s powerful agricultural economy. Additionally, low cost technical colleges and programs popped up with low to no fees to help Americans do the work that was necessary to grow the economy. Even with the powerful financial gains slavery afforded the Americans and many post-colonial powers, educational and vocational policies and colleges were instituted to transform the country into a world power. Additionally, America imported thousands of Europeans to help do the job. Without such policies, it may be difficult for many developing economies to catch up.

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