letters | is college worth it?

College graduates learn to take the initiative

COLUMNIST TOM Keane seems to think that an employee’s pay rate depends on skills, and that with a few skills, a worker shouldn’t require a college degree to earn a good salary. (“Is college worth it?” Op-ed, Feb. 18)

I have hired many employees with and without college degrees. College graduates, unlike those with only a high-school diploma, show an ability to solve problems for which they have no training or experience. I imagine this comes from the thinking and writing they have to do, the material they have learned, and their interactions with other like-minded students. Solving problems, whether in interpersonal relations, technology, finances, or scheduling, is a necessary skill for a good-paying job.

College graduates also see themselves as capable of taking the initiative in unfamiliar assignments where they need to work in a group to solve problems. Sometimes high school graduates don’t have the confidence to begin a job, even though they may have the ability to complete the task if only they would try. Many high school graduates don’t know how to participate actively in a group project.


Our economy needs problem solvers. Eventually a college degree will pay dividends for those who have earned one.

Gerald Mimno