There is also an issue of supply and demand. Today, there are more college graduates than ever. At some point, the college education becomes a commodity instead of something that you might use to get ahead. It also costs a great deal more than it used to. Students are now saddled with debt that they can not hope to repay before they’re middle aged.
And for what?
A degree in English Literature? How many English teachers do our schools need?
A bachelor’s degree degree in math or biology? It used to get you a lot further in to the job market than it does today.
Even law degrees are so commonplace that unless you do extraordinarily well on the LSAT and know people, you are quite likely to be relegated to positions of little authority or opportunity for growth.
Meanwhile blue collar jobs are begging for people. Have you seen what a mechanic, a master plumber, or electrician can make? All of this sneering “work smarter, not harder” has finally reached a limit. A surprising number of home owners don’t know how to replace a toilet flapper, change out a light fixture, or clean out a dryer vent. And don’t get me started about vehicle owners who don’t know how to change a car battery or jump-start another car.
We now have a nation of academics who don’t have any first hand experience working with their hands. And the market recognizes this scarcity. Why go to school when you can earn just as much as a professional, but without a decade of debt?