Business View Magazine | April 2019

3 From the Editor A few weeks ago, in a sting dubbed Operation Varsity Blues, the FBI charged fifty people in six states—including famous actresses, business leaders, and other well-heeled parents—for involvement in a nationwide bribery and fraud scheme to help their children gain admission to elite colleges and universities. Also accused are top college athletic coaches for facilitating the scheme by pretending to recruit the students as top athletes and the SAT proc- tors who helped the students falsify their test scores. But the latest scandal, as headline-grabbing as it was, only unearthed many other glar- ing inequities and inconsistencies in our country’s obsession with college admissions and graduation rates. Remember that old TV ad tagline, in which a sandwich-munch- ing employment agent opines unsympathet- ically to a self-taught Abraham Lincoln: “You ain’t going nowhere without that sheepskin, fella”? Well, it does beg the questions: “Where are we going and why are we con- tinuing to head down that same road?” Disregarding, for a moment, the rich parents swept up in Operation Varsity Blues, some of whom spent vast amounts to ensure a smooth ride for their progeny, or the ones whose children are “legacies,” admitted to prestigious universities either because their parents went there, or because they donat- ed large sums to their alma maters, for most Americans, educating their offspring will be the largest financial outlay, after their home mortgage, they’ll ever make. And the prices keep going up, while median household income is almost the same as it was 30 years ago. According to figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average annual growth in wages was only 0.3% between January 1989 and January 2016; median wages went from $54,042 adjusted for inflation, to $59,039. Yet, today, the average cost for all four-year institu- tions, both private and public, comes out to $104,480 over four years. The compa- rable cost for the same four-year degree in 1989 was $26,902 ($52,892 adjusted for inflation). This means that between the academic years ending in 1989 and 2016, the cost for a four year degree doubled and went up eight times faster than income. And if parents can’t, or won’t, pay, young people often find themselves burdened with staggering loans. Graduating with six figures’ worth of debt is becoming increas- ingly common. Today, some 44 million Americans owe an overwhelming $1.5 trillion in student debt, with an average bor- rowed sum of $37,172. And while it’s true that over one’s working life, a BA graduate is estimated to make an average of $16,900 in additional income per year compared to someone with just a high school diploma ($30,000 versus $46,000), recent studies have shown that job pros- pects for new graduates are not as bright as they once were. A report released by the Economic Policy Institute states that overall, the unemployment (8.5%) and underem- ployment (16.8%) rates for college gradu- ates under the age of 25 are nearly double what they were in 2007. In addition, over the next several years, less than one third of the open jobs out there will require any type of traditional college degree, at all. Skilled trades such as plumb- ing, electric, and welding are experiencing shortages of qualified people, and the num- ber one trade that is in need of experienced and qualified individuals is in the truck- ing industry. The good news is that trade schools run, on average, around $33,000 from start to finish, with many students only carrying a loan of around $10,000. In addition, trade school graduates aren’t going to make much less than their tradi- tional college counterparts. The median salary of entry-level positions of trade jobs is $35,720. Bachelor’s degree holders, when they do begin working, only make around $11,000 more annually, and that’s assuming they can even find a job in their chosen field. That may seem like a lot, but consider that, every month, they are paying an average of $200-$350 on their student loan. That brings their salary down rather quickly. Also, people coming out of trade school will be in the workforce an average of two years longer than traditional college students. So, on average, they’ll have made more than $75,000 before the person with the BA degree even pounds the pavement in search of a job. The bottom line is this: For the next genera- tion of workers, a paper certificate from a trade school may, in the long run, be worth as much as that overpriced sheepskin. Al Krulick Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief Al Krulick Associate Editor Lorie Lee Steiner Vice President of Operations Lauren Blackwell Research Directors Paul Payne Brendan McElroy Josh Conklin Lisa Curry Matthew Mitchell Matthew Blankenship Tyler Raffauf Digital Strategist Jon Bartlow Director of Administration Alyson Casey Creative Director Kulvir Singh Vice President of Business Development Erin O’Donoghue Vice President of Publishing Andre Barefield CGO Alexander Wynne-Jones COO Brian Andersen Executive Publisher / CEO Marcus VandenBrink USA Canada Caribbean Oceania Email for all inquiries: WWW.BUSINESSVIEWMAGAZINE.COM 12559 New Brittany Blvd Fort Myers, FL 33907 239.220.5554 CONTACT US