Home News How Does a College Grad End Up at a For-Profit Technical School? It’s All About the Job Market — and the Value of a Bachelor’s Degree – The 74

How Does a College Grad End Up at a For-Profit Technical School? It’s All About the Job Market — and the Value of a Bachelor’s Degree – The 74

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With a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University, New Jersey’s flagship public college, 22-year-old Rachel Van Dyks expected to have a good job by now. A professional job with a proper salary and benefits would enable her to move out of her grandfather’s house, where she lives with her parents and her brother. Instead, the 2017 graduate works 46 hours per week at two jobs — scooping maple walnut ice cream at the local ice cream parlor and taking orders at a high-end steakhouse — while paying for an associate degree in cardiovascular sonography at a for-profit technical school.

Van Dyks is not alone, according to Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. A majority of college graduates require additional education in order to qualify for a good-paying job, Carnevale said — though many might not find that out until after commencement exercises are over. While colleges are expanding their career development offices and providing students with opportunities for internships, few students take advantage of those resources. For those young graduates, the realities of the job market come as a surprise.

The traditional path is to pursue a master’s degree, but many college graduates, like Van Dyks, are abandoning the academic track and following a path that some might view as going backward: enrolling at a community college or a for-profit technical school and getting an associate degree or industry certification, specifically to qualify for a job. According to Carnevale, 14 percent of bachelor’s degree holders go that route.

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