Over the last couple of years the admissions to US community colleges has fallen over 2% according to a report from a respected higher education research group. Many experts seem to attribute this to the growth of jobs and the gradual economic recovery. These two factors are considered to be very important to the numbers of people that enroll in community colleges.
The rationale is that in times of high unemployment – education is a safer option. Anyone unable to find a job is taking less of a risk by investing in their education and there are obviously less options when the number of job vacancies falls.
There are many different figures reported about how community colleges are doing but almost all of them point at a downward trend. The figures form an almost negative correlation with the economic success of the country. To access the reports you may have to access from your home account as often commercial IP addresses are blocked, this service is a residential VPN if you have issues.
In some senses this is to be expected, education has always been something of a fallback position to many individuals however it does represent a more worrying trend that may affect the whole education sector. This is the fact that many people are starting to question the values and impacts of a college degree. As more and more people have degrees for example the value of these qualification will inevitably fall. Although most studies suggest earning a degree will normally be rewarded by a rise in salary the boundaries are starting to blur.
Even with community colleges, a degree is a significant investment in time and money. Without the expected rewards being available then the attraction also falls considerably – why risk everything for a negligible salary rise that may not even happen. In Europe where the number of people obtaining a college degree has risen sharply in recent years, many students are finding themselves frozen out of their chosen field simply because of the competition.
It is very frustrating for a student who has invested years of their life and many thousands of dollars in their education ending up working in a menial or low skilled job. This means that they are generally left with little prospect of ever paying off their education debts which in many European countries are linked to salary.