During the height of the pandemic, there were around 50 million Americans unemployed. I knew almost none. I asked my friends if they knew people who were now unemployed. They, too, knew almost no one. I then realized, as elitist as it sounds, that most everyone I know had a college degree and, I dare say with worry about pretentiousness, that most went to top tier colleges.
I reviewed the unemployment statistics. Most – but not all – of the unemployed worked in jobs that did not require a college degree.
For those in the affluent Connecticut suburbs of Fairfield, Middlesex and New London Counties, the pandemic put them at home where they work in their white collar office jobs. They all had… college degrees. That’s quite an insurance policy.
The backlash against college cost is highly understandable. But every study on the college v. non-college issue reveals that those with college degrees wind up doing far better – even with college costs considered – than those without.
The pandemic revealed this reality.
In my career counseling work, I see many twentysomethings. Those who went to college certainly have career issues. But their career issues often lie within the positive dilemma of “what should I choose?” Those without college degrees have career issues that are a series of negative dilemmas. “I could stay in this dead-end job or I can go back to college at 23..”