The U.S. trails much of the developed world in young adults with college degrees, a key measure of global competitiveness, reports the Washington Post. South Korea’s younger generation is soaring ahead.
However, “South Korea’s government has decided that too many people are going to college, writes Fred Hiatt in the Post. More than 40 percent of new college graduates can’t find jobs.
President Lee Myung-bak is “working to restore the luster of a high school diploma as a stopping point for some and to establish a vocational track for others,” Hiatt writes.
The government also is investing in vocational schools designed to put young people on a career track without going to college. “Reckless entrance into college,” Lee has said, is “bringing huge losses to households and the country alike.”
Here’s the graph showing the U.S. dip in graduates and the Korean spike. Notice that Mexico has caught up with Italy: 20 percent of young adults hold a college degree.
Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.