Is higher education always a good thing? This view from the USA:
“Consider computer technology. In 2009 the United States graduated 37,994 students with bachelor’s degrees in computer and information science. That’s not bad, but we graduated more students with computer-science degrees 25 years ago!
“…….In 2009 the United States graduated 89,140 students in the visual and performing arts, more than in computer science, math, and chemical engineering combined and more than double the number of visual-and-performing-arts graduates in 1985.
“There is nothing wrong with the arts, psychology, and journalism, but graduates in these fields have lower wages and are less likely to find work in their fields than graduates in science and math. Moreover, more than half of all humanities graduates end up in jobs that don’t require college degrees, and those graduates don’t get a big income boost from having gone to college.”
The European comparison for apprenticeships is noticeably not with the UK, which is largely following the US pattern of getting as many people as possible to obtain degrees, as a result of which we are suffering similar issues. Somewhere at the back of my mind is the fact that a man doing an English degree in the UK will generally end up worse off financially (once loans are paid off) than if he had not done so.
Although the apprenticeship system in the UK is being revamped, it is not yet up to the German standard. Even more importantly, the apprenticeship route is not as well respected as it should be.