The arguments about the value (or lack thereof) of higher education are legion and they will never end. However, some interesting developments seem to be occurring in the wake of the latest recession recovery. More prospective employers are paying more attention to a job candidate’s academics. It appears that a college degree has appreciated.
This makes sense for many reasons. I think the main reason is simply the concept of the credential. Regardless of the major, and regardless of the material skills of the person, the degree conveys to the prospective employer that the person had what it took in discipline, commitment, passion, dedication, and intellect to obtain that credential.
Does the college degree tell the whole story? Of course not. Nevertheless, the college degree does a good job of vetting the candidate. I like the way Diane Stafford summarizes this (“College Can Still Fatten Earnings” The Kansas City Star, January 6, 2015, pp. A1, A7):
“A college degree is the new recruitment filter, logical or not.” (p. A7)
This is just another indicator of the enduring value of an academic degree. Once you have earned an academic credential, no person and no circumstance can ever take that away from you. The degree is a badge of accomplishment that will remain a positive contributor throughout your career and it will add to your lifetime income. Finally, the fact that it is an appreciating asset is icing on the cake.