New economic data suggest that there is a disconnect between today’s mainstream universities’ job training emphasis and market realities (including job openings and salaries) greeting college grads. For many today, the cost of a job-oriented college degree simply isn’t worth it. According to Richard Vedder, a professor at Ohio University and an economist, historian and columnist, college grads face a glutted job market which simply can’t absorb them.

If the primary purpose of a college education is job training, then lots of students are wasting their money. Vedder notes in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education,

“You cannot thumb your noses at economic realities or popular opinion forever without hav[ing] people ask “Why are we subsiding this activity?” If the 2011 data continue the trends with respect to earnings of the previous couple of years, I suspect more and more Americans will simply say “no” to higher education.”

If the purpose of a college education is primarily to get a job, then Vedder’s right. Sadly, that is the fundamental problem with American higher education: its misguided purpose.

Until Christian educators and parents recognize the higher purpose of a college education,  college tuition will largely be a waste of their money.

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