Wisdom from Arnold Kling:
Or, perhaps, college filters out people with low cognitive ability, low conscientiousness, and other adverse traits. I want to see an experiment, in which some people are randomly chosen to go to college and others are chosen not to go to college. Then, proceed to compare outcomes. Meanwhile, nonexperimental data is of little or no value.
He’s referring to this NYT story: Even for Cashiers, College Pays Off.
Leonhardt presents strong arguments and evidence. Consider this chart:
Also, Leonhardt has this to say:
Then there are the skeptics themselves, the professors, journalists and others who say college is overrated. They, of course, have degrees and often spend tens of thousands of dollars sending their children to expensive colleges.
He’s right on this point too. While it is easy for me to see the waste, when everybody else who is smart and on the ball is going to college, how can I not follow along and do the same for my children? I will be happy if my children go a different route and I will support them in their choices, but they are under the same peer group pressure I am subject to.
My instincts tell me Arnold is correct, but it will be hard to any particular individual to go against the trends.