Report Backs Up the Idea That College Shouldn't Be the Goal

You won't need a B.A. in anthropology to be an electrician or a dental hygienist.

Is President Obama's laser-like focus on students going to and graduating from college all wrong? According to a team researchers out of Harvard, yes. The just-released "Pathways to Prosperity" (PDF) report claims that instead of making college the ultimate goal, students actually need vocational education for so-called blue collar professions. Why? That's where the jobs of the future are.

Forty-seven million new jobs will be created by 2018, and although almost two-thirds will require some education beyond high school, they won't all require a college degree. Some of the fastest growing jobs—like construction worker, electrician, dental hygienist, police officer, or home health care aide—only require vocational certificates or specialized training. And, even though some of those positions don't carry much social prestige, 27 percent of current blue collar work actually pays more than many jobs that require bachelor's degree.

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