Slow Growth of College Graduation– My Critique

The Slow Growth of College-Graduation Rates—My Critique

By The Atlantic

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The Atlantic wrote, “According to a new report, more Americans earned a higher-education degree in 2014 than in 2008.”

I would not doubt it as about 75% of all high school graduates went to college (mostly Community College) in 2008. So, I would assume that a lot did graduate in 7 years. In other words there has been an increase in college attendance rates, since 2008 and before. Granted attendance does ot equate to graduation but it would be helpful to have more attend to graduate more.

The Atlantic declared, “Since 2008 millions of adults have earned college degrees, but still less than half of the nation’s labor force has completed a postsecondary education.”

Where do you get your numbers from? This is wrong. Check out the end of this essay. Less than 50% have a Bachelor’s degree but add in Associate’s degrees and we are way over 60%.

The Atlantic posited, “Between 2008 and 2014, the share of people aged 25 to 64 who possess either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree rose from 37.9 percent to 40.4 percent, according to new data released by the Lumina Foundation. (The Lumina Foundation is a financial supporter of the Education Writers Association, which produced this story in partnership with The Atlantic.) The influential nonprofit has also for the first time calculated the number of Americans who have earned a certificate in a postsecondary setting, finding that 4.9 percent of adult workers have completed a program in short-term studies such as auto mechanics, computer services, and cosmetology.”

These stats are wrong, too.

“Despite the boost from the new certificates data, the pace of degree completion in the United States isn’t fast enough to reach the organization’s goal of seeing 60 percent of Americans holding either a certificate, or an associate’s or bachelor’s degree by 2025, according to Lumina’s president Jamie Merisotis. “In fact, based on our projections roughly 10.9 million additional credentials—degrees, certificates, or other high-quality credentials—are needed to meet the goal. And those need to come from those people who represent our future, particularly low-income Americans, underemployed adults, first-generation students, and students of color,” Merisotis said during a call with reporters.”

Again, check out the end of this essay! You’ll be pleasantly surprised. This need for the poor to graduate college is nonexistent. Why do you have a goal at all?


Education will not help!!!

The Atlantic wrote, “Global competition has soared. Some 2 million jobs are unfilled in this country, lacking qualified applicants. Three-fourths of American CEOs cite major problems in finding qualified people to fill these jobs. And two-thirds of all jobs being created today require some form of post-high-school education or training, wrote Merisotis in the report.”

This last line is pure horse-puckey. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics I have near the end of this piece. I also have statistics from the Census Bureau about educational attainment.

Why do you ask CEOs? They know next to nothing about running the day-to-day operations of their own businesses. They do not know how much education nor how much experience is required. These jobs generally say that they require 3-5 years of experience when they truly do not. One learns over 95% of what they are ever going to know about their in the first year. More of these jobs will substitute extra experience for lack of education than vice versa, way more.

In graduate school I learned that people with 2 years of experience were just as productive as those with 10 years of experience. They did not use someone with only 1 year of experience. Point is 3-5 years of experience is not needed. Even the Operations Managers come up with a laundry list of qualifications that very few will ever have. I used to say that they want you to walk on water. Recently I even saw a job posting with qualification number 15 being precisely that—Must be able to walk on water.

If there are not enough qualified applicants then it is the stupid requirements that the companies come up with, that few will have. They do not want train someone or allow them time to learn the job. They also want someone in their 20s. Age discrimination is rampant in this country especially when it comes to high tech or STEM jobs.

I was going to school and I was about 33 years old. One of my college professors said that I would never work for a major company because I was too old already. It has been shown that most contributions to society has been, usually early in one’s career. But that does not mean that someone over 40 is useless and cannot do the job. They can still learn.

The Atlantic wrote, “Several countries have leapfrogged the United States in the share of the workforce with a degree, particularly among workers under the age of 35. Still, other analysts, such as the scholars behind this World Bank Study, remain skeptical of the link between the nation’s long-term economic growth and its ability to produce more adults who are college-educated. President Obama challenged the United States to lead the globe in the percentage of workers with degrees by 2020”.

There has never been a direct relationship between education in the macro and the economy. I have shown this in numerous essays.

WHY does the POTUS do this?!!!! He knows nothing about education and probably even less about the economy. He is a lawyer turned community organizer. Why do you listen to him? It might be that is an Appeal to Celebrity or Authority Logical Fallacy or both.

The Atlantic submited, “Demographic groups that are less likely to possess a degree have more faith that higher-education leads to better quality of life.”


This makes perfect sense as those who have the degrees know better. They have come to know all this push for education is for naught!

“Whatever the link between degrees and the economy, more jobs are demanding candidates have at least some college education. In 2010, a Georgetown study estimated that in the past four decades the share of jobs requiring college experience rose from 28 percent to 59 percent and forecasted that this trend is likely to continue. It is worth noting, however, that data from the labor-research firm Burning Glass suggests employers are adding college experience as a job requirement when many current employees in those fields don’t have those credentials.”

This is so wrong!!! Please check out my stats below!!  The last sentence maybe true but clearly not necessary by the fact that people without the degree are already doing the jobs. Problem is we are getting the degrees but not the experience so-called required. It is a Catch-22. You need the experience before you get the job but you the need the job in order to get the experience. No amount of education will help this.

There millions of people with a college degree that do not have jobs at all or are in jobs that do not require college. We do not need a bunch a new college graduates. We have too many as it is and graduating too many more as it is.

The Atlantic continued, “The U.S. college-completion figures in the Lumina report varied significantly by demographic and geographic factors. Some states are inching closer to the 60-percent goal set forth by Lumina, including: Massachusetts, 55.4 percent; Colorado, 54.2 percent; Minnesota, 52.9 percent; and Washington, 51.6 percent. The states with the lowest percentage of degree attainment are: West Virginia, 32.6 percent; Nevada, 35.3 percent; Mississippi, 36.4 percent; Alabama, 36.7 percent; and Idaho, 37.7 percent. Nationally among 25-64 year-olds in 2014, 60.6 percent of Asian-Americans have earned a degree or certificate. The same is true for 28.7 percent of blacks, 20.9 percent of Hispanics, 23.7 percent of Native Americans, and 45.1 percent of whites.”

I would suggest that you ignore this bogus report! Again, why 60%?

The Atlantic wrote, “Despite large gains over the past two decades in the number of people enrolled in colleges and universities, completion rates have been slower to catch up. One reason could be the set of challenges low-income students and those who are first in their family to pursue a degree face once they reach college. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development calculated in 2014 that 5 percent of U.S. children with parents who have not graduated from high school will graduate from college, the Lumina report notes. That figure joins other calculations that paint a picture of limited social mobility in the United States. Another widely cited figure shows that only 9 percent of children from low-income households complete a bachelor’s degree, while the same is true of 77 percent of children who grew up in well-off homes.”

A college degree is NO guarantee of a good paying job. Social mobility is a myth or rather, it has been over the last 30 years or so. Most people born into poverty will remain there. There are several economic factors for this and education is not one of them. Again, see my stats below.

Again, education is not the answer. It is a matter of economics and as in business, location, location, location. Poor American whites are in rural America where there are no good paying jobs. Poor blacks and Hispanics are in the inner cities, again where no good jobs are located. So, even though many get a high school diploma there are no jobs where they are.

It is the affluent that have the connections that get their kids jobs. There parents were in the right place at the right time and now know the right people to continue to be affluent.

Most Americans do not have this and cannot get this. But again, education in the macro will not get them there. It is more a matter of who you know than what you know.

The Atlantic offered, “When you look at the fast-growing populations in the United States, particularly the Hispanic population, which in many states is growing much rapidly than the overall population,” said Dewayne Matthews, Lumina’s vice president of strategy development, “the fact that the attainment rate for that population today is only one in five adults having a two-year or four-year degrees, we think there’s significant reason to be concerned about that and for the nation to really commit itself to the effort to close those gaps in attainment”

I wish people would get off of this kick of choosing one race over another. It is racist. Just because the Hispanics are growing faster than any other group does NOT mean that they must increase their college education attainment. This is also a non sequitur.

The Atlantic wrote, “Still, demographic groups that are less likely to possess a degree in the United States have more faith that higher-education attainment leads to better quality of life. In a 2015 Gallup poll commissioned by Lumina and released as part of this report, 36 percent of whites, 50 percent of blacks, and 62 percent of Hispanics agree that a college degree improves the quality of life.”

Again, those that have degrees know that that in and of itself is meaningless. It does not guarantee a good paying job. The people who do not have degrees do not know this yet, apparently.

Now, on to the long awaited statistics.

The census Bureau’s statistics for 2015 are as follows:

<< >>  on page 2.

For 2015 degrees attained:

High School graduates         88.4%

Some college or more          58.9% (includes certificates, etc?)

Associate’s Degree               42.3%

Bachelor’s degree or more    32.5%

Advanced Degree                 12%

This means that 32.5% +12 % or 42.5% of the US population has a bachelor’s degree. In order to get an advanced degree one usually needs the bachelor’s first.

Even at that the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) says only 27% of all jobs will require a college degree, 4% Associate’s, 18% Bachelor’s, 2% Master’s, and 3% a PhD. And 27% will require less than a high school diploma or a high school dropout. The rest will require high school and some college/certificates/apprenticeships.

The Census Bureau’s numbers indicate that we have too many of each. Only 4% of jobs will require an Associate’s degree and yet 42.3% have Associate’s degrees. This is more than 10 times what is needed. Many people who get bachelor’s degree do not get an Associate’s degree.

18% will require a bachelor’s degree and yet we have 32.5% (and really 44.5%) with a bachelor’s degree. Regardless, we have nearly twice as many graduates as jobs for them, which is probably a major reason why 54.5% of college graduates are not jobs that require a college degree.

Only 5% total needed for Master’s and PhD’s combined and yet we have 12%. This is 2.4 times the number that is needed.

Actually only 39% of all jobs will require a high school diploma and yet 88.4% have high school diplomas. This is also about 2.26 times too many. Granted many of these do have college as well.

We have way too many graduates at all levels. We only fall short on high school dropouts though.

Granted the number of people (working age adults) and the number of jobs are not equal but actually the number of people is so much greater than the number of jobs that these overages are even worse than I am saying here. We have 1/3 of our workforce not working as is and not counted as unemployed. This wrong of the government not even consider these people.

So, why do you want 60% to graduate college? If we add the percentages of those with Associate’s degrees, Bachelor’s degrees and Advanced degrees we get 42.3 + 32.5+ 12 = 86.8%. I count the 12% as also completing a Bachelor’s degree. So, you already have achieved the 60% goal. It is almost half again as much. Even without the 12% we still have 64.8%. So, it is still more than 60%.

Again, this gap between the overall educational levels achieved and the jobs available for each educational level is much worse than I say when applied to the number of available jobs versus the number of working adults. The overachievement gap which I suggest is understated here,


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