"College, at this point, has largely become just a stepping stone to graduate programs because it's almost impossible to find a good job in most fields without it."
This is a major pet peeve of mine towards the educational system in the US. Everyone needs a college degree nowadays because it is perceived that high school is not enough of a general education. But why can't it be?
In other countries, like in Europe and Russia, students are learning calculus and other college level courses by the age high school students are here. Students are fully capable of studying such things. So much time in elementary school is also wasted as most schools only actually learn every other year. Schools in the US are geared towards the lowest common denominator and the quality of education has crumbled as a result.
A college degree was once held in very high regard. Nowadays, since the whole quality of education has sunk from the elementary school level up, a college degree is needed for jobs for which just high school would have been needed 60 years ago. College, in a way, has turned into high school. And since everyone needs a college degree, the schools have again focused on the lowest common denominators to keep with demand. A college degree is hardly worth the paper it's printed on anymore. You get a society filled with people who think they're educated, but really have just wasted four years of their life learning what they should have covered in high school.
So, to replace the prestige of the college degree, every scholar must now get additional graduate schooling. But as places like school-by-mail institutions increase, they are again devaluing the meaning of a graduate degree. When will it end?
The whole situation bothers me. The attitude of college as a stepping stone is prevalent throughout the country, but some institutions openly cater to it. It should be fought, not normalized.