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The American Dream Is Still Alive … for Those With Math Skills

By    |   Wednesday, 26 Sep 2012 07:38 AM

The upcoming presidential election has come down to whether or not it is still possible for an average American to acquire wealth and comfort through their personal hard work. While it is certainly possible, college is not necessarily the path for everyone, even though education is important. Math combined with simple common sense are the most important determinants of success.

Because of hope and marketing, the importance of a college degree has become overinflated. At the center of this belief is widely cited research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows college graduates enjoy greater lifetime earnings and lower unemployment rates than do non-grads. Because math and common sense are no longer basic skills, this statistic is widely accepted.

Digging a little deeper, we see that some college degrees fare better than others do. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), seven of the 10 highest paying careers require engineering degrees. Computer science, physics and applied mathematics round out the top ten.

At the bottom of the salary scale are degrees in drama, fine arts, social work and education. These degree programs often include minimal math courses.

Careers that don’t require a degree can pay better than many jobs degree holders find. Carpenters, electricians and other craftsmen capable of completing basic math problems are often well-paid.

According to NACE, “Math is at the crux of who gets paid. If you have those skills, you are an extremely valuable asset. We don't generate enough people like that in this country.”

In other words, education matters when it includes the basic skills. Society rewards those who are proficient in “reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic,” whether they have a degree or not. With these skills, the American Dream is alive and within reach.

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MichaelCarr
College is not necessarily the path for everyone, even though education is important. Math combined with simple common sense are the most important determinants of success.
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2012-38-26
Wednesday, 26 Sep 2012 07:38 AM
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