The education bubble is the new housing bubble. Unfortunately, I cannot take credit for that analogy as it has appeared everywhere and everyone is getting it wrong.
Many articles in the WSJ and NYTimes have questions like "Is College Worth It?" as though all colleges are the same, all majors are the same and all students have the same experience. While there is definitely a need to discuss college curriculums, it's reductive to pose it as an either/or question. College is worth it....just not for everyone or for all programs.
The ROI for STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) majors is immense. Many students in these fields can expect to find gainful employment after college.It becomes more difficult when you look at liberal arts and social science majors. Am I saying that all college students should switch to STEM studies? Absolutely not, but students should realize what their major leads them to after college and adjust their expectations accordingly.
Unfortunately, a lot of students have been sold on the idea that they could go to college, major in whatever they wished, get student loans and everything will work itself out due the value of a degree. Taking loans on the total cost of a private four year education will run around $200k, a major in social work can expect to make $35,000 after graduation in a field that is prone to stagnant wages. Meanwhile, a major in engineering can expect to make almost twice that at graduation in a growing field that often pays bonus. Both jobs are crucial to society and both jobs (rightly so) require education and training. So college is "worth it", it's just that students need to question the cost of their education relative to their salary prospects. The questions should be: Public vs. private? Junior college first? Co-op schools?