The belief of obtaining a college bachelor degree to land a solid career is turning into a form of folk lore. The baby boomers told us we need college education to be one-step ahead of everyone else. A bachelor’s degree will get you the promotions, the bonuses, the retirement, they said. Look at this very important figure (pictures obtained from source listed below).
The boomers grew up and worked during a time where only 25% of the populous had a college degree, with 40% reporting a college degree or some college. Being amongst the top 25% of selections lowers the competition of the group. You are now competing with 25% of the total available workers. This degree has indeed given you a step above the standard employee with no education. Now look at the millennial: 39% reporting a college degree and 67% with a college degree or some college. Look at the bracket you are competing with now. Two thirds of the population has a degree or some college. You are now only above 1/3 of the competition and competing against the majority.
Getting a college degree today actually puts you into the more populated and more competitive job market. Whereas being “uneducated” without a glorified piece of paper stating you completed some worthless college classes, allows you to compete versus the smaller “uneducated” bracket and likely have much more opportunities being “uneducated” because there is a significantly less amount of available workers without college degrees. Less supply, higher demand. Why are millennials struggling to find their high paying careers? Maybe it is because they are competing with the top 66% of all workers. Now, not only do you need a degree… You need to have the best degree from the best colleges with the best grades to stand out even a little bit. So if you are an average college graduate, does it really benefit you? Are you really a step ahead of everyone else with a mediocre bachelor’s degree and a 3.1 GPA?
Whereas you can be a smart, “uneducated” worker and get job opportunities like crazy because the millennials with degrees are not in the market for the same jobs. They are competing in a different bracket. A bracket with significantly more competition and people. I can argue that getting a degree without being top of the class can actually hurt your chances at finding that golden career. Getting a degree means jumping into the “educated” bracket of job hunters, which is much more competitive and much higher in population. It is even worse for men, specifically.
Women have now overtaken men in terms of higher education. More women are getting degrees than men are. Generation X and Millennials have more bachelor degree-holding women than they do men. Why does this even matter? Diversity. Companies have to meet diversity quotas. Affirmative action laws have made it this way and the discussion about affirmative action will come later, but it is just a fact that goes into our quest to get that golden career. By law, companies have to hire women for the name of diversity, despite qualifications. So now, considering getting the college education already puts you into a larger competition bracket, at the same time, you are competing against even MORE college-educated women, combine that with affirmative action laws, and you are in an extremely competitive job market with affirmative action laws working against you, if you are a male.
Good luck. Your college degree has been diluted into oblivion. There are so many people with college degrees it makes any education completely disposable. How? Because there are millions of people with the same degree as you, applying for the same job. Many will have better grades than you will, or have gone to a better school than you have. It is unavoidable. Too many people have college degrees at this point. Millennials bought all the snake oil the boomers were selling, and then some. They went all-in. Now, they will have to deal it.