College Isn’t For Everyone Harvard Study Reveals


The national rite of passage for high school students is for young men and women to obtain their diplomas and head off for an additional four years of education on the college level. That passage is a myth, although approximately seven in ten do go on to college following high school.

From there, some students pursue two-year degrees, others drop out, with a much smaller number eventually obtaining their degrees, pegged at 30 percent of adults.

Universal College

Some people have advocated “college for all,” in a bid to open up learning opportunities for every high school graduate, but that move does not appear to be helping students find employment as adults. The authors of a Harvard University “Pathways to Prosperity” project believe that there may be other options available for high school students including two-year degrees and job training.

Robert Schwartz, academic dean at Harvard’s education school and head of the Pathways project, released the study’s findings noting that just the thought of having to go to college may be too much for some high school students. Instead of pursuing a four-year degree, these students would most likely be better served by pursuing occupational training.

Occupational Training

Importantly, the study revealed that of the 47 million jobs expected to be created by 2018, just one-third will require at least a bachelor’s degree. Most of the new jobs will require employees to possess some skills, but the level of training they’ll need will be measured in months or a year or two, not four or more.

Though not revolutionary, the Harvard study could be evolutionary — students who dread the thought that only a four-year degree cab open doors will find encouragement to pursue other options. We’ll always need electricians, hair stylists, plumbers, construction workers and dental assistants, people who provide much needed services with specialized education and training, not a four-year degree.

The biggest demand for workers is in health care where workers will be needed to service America’s aging population of baby boomers.


Bloomberg News: Four Years of College Isn’t for Everyone, Harvard Study Says

Georgetown University: Center on Education and the Workforce

Harvard University: Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century


end of post idea


Helpful article? Leave us a quick comment below.
And please share this article within your social networks.

facebook linkedin pinterest

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The commission earnings are used to defray our cost of operation.

View our FTC Disclosure for other affiliate information.

Categories: Campus News