Lose late. The grain of salt taken with this study is that it looks at outcomes in Europe, not the U.S. Still, this is what we liberal arts graduates always preach. From The Atlantic.
Yet new international research points to a significant downside of such programs: Students may benefit early in their careers, but are harmed later in life as the economy changes and they lack the general skills necessary to adapt.
The study raises concerns about the trade-offs that could come with significantly expanding career and technical training in the United States—at least any version that substitutes for broad knowledge and skills transferable across jobs.
“Individuals with general education initially face worse employment outcomes but experience improved employment probability as they become older relative to individuals with vocational education,” write four researchers in the study, which appeared in the winter 2017 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Human Resources.
Many European and developing countries provide extensive vocational education, including apprenticeships with involvement from industry, the authors note. That stands in contrast with the U.S., which has reduced or eliminated separate vocational tracks in most high schools.