If you’re of a certain age, you may remember a time when you could pay your way through college working at the movie theater. That time is definitively over — but why?
Well, we can start with the rising cost of tuition.
Even state schools can end up running a student over $10,000 per year. Then there’s the stagnant minimum wage, which nowadays can’t pay the rent on a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the U.S. (better live with your parents). But the real issue is the declining number of jobs that are typically available to college students, which have seen both a reduction in positions available and number of hours offered in recent years. These low-wage, no-degree-required jobs are being slashed due to reduced consumer spending, which has its roots in the still-teetering U.S. economy.
There’s another deep-seated problem here: year after year we break records for the amount of students attending college nationwide. That’s the American Dream — or is it? Many commentators speak of an “education bubble”, a situation where too many students are attending college. This will eventually lead to serious systemic issues. (We need auto mechanics and plumbers just as much as we need lawyers and astrophysicists.) The over-abundance of students in search of work to help pay tuition bills leads to a lack of available positions. Yet currently, unemployment is an issue across the generations.
According to Slate magazine, “There are a limited number of jobs that are open to students (a college town can only have so many barristas, after all), and more students than ever to compete for them. Meanwhile, it’s hard time for anyone to get work, especially those who don’t have a degree. Perhaps we shouldn’t expect it to be any easier for young people still looking to earn theirs.
Category: Sustainable Small-B