How Lesser-Known Colleges Can Compete | National Review

How Lesser-Known Colleges Can Compete | National Review

Many Americans still believe that there’s some magic in getting a degree from a “prestige” college or university. Often, they tend to overlook regional schools (where the degree would cost much less) in favor of “name” schools.

The fact of the matter is that a degree from a “name” school is neither necessary nor sufficient for success.

In today’s Martin Center article, Walt Gardner argues that lesser-known colleges can compete for students by showing that their graduates do very well — graduates with certain majors, that is. He writes, “The appeal of a brand name to young people is understandable since it accounts for so many of their choices in their daily lives. But they’ll soon learn that when it comes to education, there is no substitute for acquiring marketable knowledge and skills in a competitive setting. The colleges that convince them can more than hold their own.”

Several states are making college-shopping easier than it used to be by providing information on graduate earnings by degree. That’s a trend that ought to continue.

Here’s an example of what Gardner is talking about: “In Tennessee, the average first-year salaries of graduates with an associate degree are $1,000 higher than those with a bachelor’s degree. Those with a technical degree often earn more their first year out than those who studied the same field at a four-year university. For example, graduates who major in health sciences from Dyersburg State Community College earn $5,300 more on average their first year than their counterparts at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. And they finish two years earlier.”

This is good news — except for all those faculty and administrators whose jobs depend on enrollments in those majors that specialize in ideology, not knowledge and skill.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.