Study: 49% of Young Americans Believe a College Degree Is Unnecessary

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 03: A graduating student's cap declares their future intentions during commencement exercises at City College where First lady Michelle Obama delivered the commencement speech after being presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters at City College on June 3, 2016 in New York City. …
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Nearly half of young Americans say that a college education is no longer necessary, noting that they believe their degrees were not needed in order to obtain their current jobs. 89 Percent of the members of Generation Z surveyed are also considering options outside of a traditional four-year degree.

Younger Americans are more open to alternative approaches to education, according to a new study by the financial services company, TD Ameritrade. Nearly half of the young Americans surveyed — 49 percent — say that they believe college is no longer necessary today, and that their degree was “very or somewhat unimportant” for their current job.

The study also discovered that 89 percent of Generation Z (ages 15 to 21), as well as 79 percent of young millennials (ages 22 to 28), have considered pursuing something other than a four-year degree after graduation high school.

Moreover, it was also revealed that roughly one in five of those belonging to Generation Z and young millennials say they may not go to college at all.

“There are more options today,” said TD Ameritrade senior retirement manager Dara Luber to MarketWatch. “More students are looking at online courses, doing classes at community college, commuting from home, or going to a trade school.”

“Rising college expenses are changing the modern college experience,” added Luber.

MarketWatch also noted that the average borrower is now leaving college with about $37,000 worth in student loan debt, which is up more than $10,000 from ten years ago, and has brought the outstanding student loan debt owed by all borrowers reached $1.5 trillion in 2018.

Additionally, not all “borrowers” will end up becoming graduates.

“For every one hundred students who enter a four-year college, only 59 exit with a degree,” noted Turning Point USA founder and executive director Charlie Kirk in a 2015 video for PragerU.

The study also discovered that just over one in four young millennials are saying they plan to delay college due to its high costs. “They chose or would choose a less expensive college to avoid debt,” notes the TD Ameritrade study.

Parents, however, have yet to get on board with Generation Z and young millennials, as 96 percent of parents surveyed say that they do expect their kids to go to college.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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