The Diploma’s Vanishing Value

The Diploma’s Vanishing Value¬†–¬†This headline hooked me immediately, especially the fact that it is from the Wall Street Journal. However, getting past the shock value (BSEE / MBA talking here), it is very advanced journalism.

First, the headline “The Diploma’s Vanishing Value” made me think “really? with all the attention on the poor science and math scores, really?” (CNN Science and Math article).

Then, the subheadline “Bachelor’s degrees may not be worth it, but community college can bring a strong return.” Ok, maybe getting better, not everybody is suited to being a rocket scientist, why spend $80K – $200K if your passion involves creating custom flowers with 3D printers.

Then, for the webheads reading this, the page title (see graphic below) reads, “Are Bachelor’s Degrees Worth it? –” As a result, google returns this article as the first result for the searches like “bachelor degree worth,” “bachelor degree value,” and so on. Obviously, the WSJ knows how to stay on top of Google, literally.

WSJ Bachelors Degree

Finally, the article itself gives a interesting, balanced approach to a very controversial question. As for the science and math crowd, you probably wouldn’t be reading this to begin with: that piece of paper is the price of admission to your field. For many others, the creatives, undecideds, entrepreneurs, and trades, the issue is worth exploring. Many companies, for better or worse, hire for specific skills and experience, a degree might be required, but any degree would check the box. For smaller companies, people without degrees might be the best fit, especially if they enter the workforce without the burden of student loans and can start their careers at lower salary levels. So the next time you are searching for that perfect “technical” sales or marketing person, it might be interesting to include the “alternatively educated” with a degree from the school of life.