Jenn questions that whole Higher Education Bubble business promoted by the Instant Man and others for the last couple of months:
It’s true that education costs are rising much faster than the rate of inflation, much like housing prices a couple years ago, but from what I have seen the increase in cost is mainly at private schools both the “elite” Ivy League schools, and at schools like the University of Phoenix.
The Ivy degree, she says, is valuable mostly for access:
With Harvard or Yale on your diploma you are essentially guaranteed access to jobs in the upper levels of government or access to those who take them. That is a valuable commodity and will always be so.
Then again, there are gatekeepers way down here in the Real World too:
The for-profit schools … also provide access, but of a much different sort. They just get you past the idiot HR people, if you are lucky. Their cost is rising because a college degree has become a screening tool for almost every job and there is no access to the state run university systems for most of the people who attend these schools. The managers at these schools have recognized this and are churning out graduates in a very small number of fields very quickly … Unfortunately the market has now been flooded with marginally qualified graduates of courses in Business Administration or Information Services.
And market imbalances tend to be self-correcting in time. Meanwhile, your best buy might well be Obscure State University.