As an education administrator, your comments and analysis ring true with what I’ve seen of students and my own educational journey. While I loved writing my dissertation and am proud of my advanced degrees, they left me without a viable career path, but lots of student loan dept. I had to translate the skills I developed in earning my Ph.D. into applicable skills to meet the needs of employers. This is what you are not formally taught by professors who are living in a bubble.
I used to be one of these professors focused on academic discipline, but became disconnected to the real challenges of employment. When you are in the “education bubble” you place so much value and stature on academic success and achievement. The real world is about real results, not just theory and the values placed on workers are based in outcomes. When I left my university professorship to pursue a more financially satisfying opportunity, it was painful and I felt deeply let down and abandoned by my professors and the institutions where I had invested so much of my life and potential. I graduated into dept and my university professorship could not dig me out of it.
I give different advice to my students now. There are many paths to success and they do not necessarily require a formal degree.
Thanks for all of your thoughts and work on this subject.