Wall Street Journal poll: More Americans Losing Faith in Value of College Degree

Wall Street Journal poll: More Americans Losing Faith in Value of College Degree

A recent poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News reveals nearly half of Americans think a bachelor’s degree is not worth the cost.

The poll, released in September, showed 47 percent of those surveyed do not believe a bachelor’s degree will lead to a good job and higher lifetime earnings, while 49 percent believed earning a four-year college degree will lead to a good job and a higher lifetime earnings.

Based on the results, two subgroups surveyed had the highest rate of not believing in the value of a bachelor ’s degree. Adults between the ages of 18-34 and a portion of the working class lost the most amount of confidence in the value of a college degree. About 57 percent of those ages 18-34 years-old and 65 percent of working class members who identify as caucasians said the education was not worth the price tag.

Roughly 66 percent of those living in rural areas, 60 percent of the overall poor and working class, 58 percent of those with some college education do not believe in the value of a bachelor’s degree.

Other groups saying a four-year degree is not worth the cost include those with a high school degree or less (55 percent), men (53 percent), Republicans (53 percent) and white males (49 percent).

A student finishes a concrete slab, with help from a Cement Masons Local 132 apprentice, at the Columbus/Central Ohio Building Trades Job Fair

A student finishes a concrete slab, with help from a Cement Masons Local 132 apprentice, at the Columbus/Central Ohio Building Trades Job Fair.

A NBC News article on the survey said those who believe a bachelor’s degree is not worth the cost often cited the reason being “because people often graduate without specific job skills and with a large amount of debt to pay off.”

The reasons for not believing in the value of a four-year degree are valid, as many degrees do not give students the skills to succeed in the real world, they only lead to mountains of debt in the form of college loans.

By applying for an apprenticeship with any affiliated Columbus/Central Ohio Building Trades, men and women are avoiding an average college debt of over $37,000.

Instead, they choose to earn while they learn. C/COBT apprentices are paid to learn a their trade, receiving livable wages and benefits. They work with a signatory contractor and also take classes to help hone their skills and help them stay safe on the jobsite.

Learn more about apprenticeship opportunities with our affiliated trades by clicking here.

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