Contra Derek Thompson, Christopher Beha reconsiders the necessity of college:

Education does provide many individuals with a pathway out of poverty, but educating a workforce doesn’t change what jobs are available to society as a whole. As [John Marsh, author of Class Dismissed: Why We Cannot Teach Our Way Out of Inequality] writes, our economy produces more jobs that do not require degrees than jobs that do, and "a college degree will not make those jobs pay any more than the pittance they already do." Barring radical changes in our economy, the vast majority of those extra 40,000,000 college graduates Obama hopes to produce in the next decade will end up in jobs that don’t require degrees, and don’t pay.

Disturbed by the proliferation of for-profit schools, Beha notes that a "society that can’t increase its roll of college graduates without sending billions of dollars in grants and loans to proprietary schools has problems that will not be fixed by the classroom."