We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I went to college for the girls and to get a degree which I needed for a professional school so I could get a professional license. That's it. The beer and football were a close second. The list is ivory tower gassing -- note that it doesn't address the key question of who is going to pay for this. Because society ultimately can't afford endless numbers of politically correct kollege-educated baristas battling heterosexism from behind the counter at starbucks anymore than it can afford aristocratic platonists (I don't make this up, its in the article).
Everything I wanted to learn, I learned on my own post college, except that professional school taught me how to think critically.
We can easily test which of these views are predominant.
We'll just let student loans be dischargeable in bankruptcy with the surrender of the credential and the removal of any official or unofficial acknowledgement of its granting by the conferring university.
See how many former students are willing to give up the credential and trade on what they learned?
Well, the universities sell number 3. They may try to bait and switch to one of the others, but #3 is the only one that justifies the current fees charged.
Now, if someone wishes to pursue one of the other reasons, more power to them. But, please, stop whining about not being able to find a job. Of course, you can't find a job that uses your degree.
First off, unless you become a university professor, you are already unlikely to use most of what is taught. Few people who studied higher math use higher math in their work.
Second, if you avoided the dreaded "vocational" degrees, then by definition, you didn't improve your employability or ability to do useful work for money payment.
Third, technology, brought to you by those dreaded "vocational" majors have rendered many fields that took in the useless majors moot. Jobs in publishing, journalism, law research, etc. are being commoditized, automated and democratized. Basically, the capital equipment/monopoly access needed to do them are no long expensive or defendable.
So you got a worthless degree, now learn some job skills. Try to be the best barrista you can be. Hope that your time in "higher learning" gave you the ability to spot and exploit opportunities using your critical thinking. But if you are just a reguritator, then you are screwed. Original thought is where the money is.