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Some Good Jobs Don't Require College Degrees

March 22, 2004

The newly released study on career academies doesn't put its findings in proper perspective (March 16). James Kemple, the report's author, overlooks two key factors that do a disservice to these schools within schools. In today's economy, college graduates are losing ground faster than any other group, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Economic Policy Institute, a research group in Washington. People between 25 and 35 years old have been hit hardest by unemployment. Employment in this group of college graduates dropped from more than 87% to 84.1% late last year. This was the lowest since the late 1970s. Their average salaries have fallen since 2001.

College graduation is also no guarantee of job satisfaction. There are many challenging positions in financial services, equipment repair, auto mechanics, plumbing and computer technology, for example, that do not require a college degree. These fields all provide valuable services and a steady income. Why do we persist in telling young people that unless they graduate from college they have no future?

Walt Gardner

Los Angeles

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