I agree with this:
I bet there are +30% of the people under the age of the 30 that would have been better off financially if they would have entered the job market directly rather than going to college.
I strongly disagree with this:
Obviously the significance of a bachelor's degree holds very little merit.
First, there's no question that having a bachelor's degree is still important. Probably more important than it ever has been. Have you checked the unemployment #s for people under 30 with HS degree only? They are staggeringly high. For all the doom-and-gloom about recent college grads unemployment rates, they're still below 5%. The fact is, with a high school degree these days it is exceedingly difficult to get a stable, long-term job with growth prospects. Jobs that a HS grad could've gotten 20 years ago are now going to college grads, and this isn't reversing any time soon. In other words, I think this is a fundamental shift, and not the temporary result of the current weak ongoing job market, although obviously I could be wrong about that. LINK
Second, despite this, there's no question that, as C said, over 1/3 of people are worse off for not getting a job straight out of high school. Those people are dropouts. The real economic problem, as I see it, is people who end up with student loans and 2 or 3 wasted years with nothing to show for it. This is doubly true if they were suckered into an expensive for-profit college.
Also, a more minor point, focusing on 30 year olds ignores the fact that, over the long run, the college grads will make more money. No question that, at age 30, a janitor who's been working for 12 years will have made more $ than a freshly graduated lawyer or doctor. By age 40 that will no longer be true.
And as to this:
Yeah like if my wife had never gone to college, I wouldn't have met her and married her, thus I would be better off financially...
I can only say