Why a college degree is worth every penny

Hereís what readers had to say in Mondayís letters to the editor.
University of South Florida undergraduates gather at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa for the fall commencement ceremony.
University of South Florida undergraduates gather at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa for the fall commencement ceremony.
Published September 22

Why a degree is worth the price

Is college worth it? | Column, Sept. 19

Putting aside the absurdity of someone whose multiple college degrees have allowed her to sit at the perch of a national newspaper, write books, and speak to a national audience questioning the value of a college diploma, the most astonishing thing about this article is that it failed to mention the most salient facts concerning the subject: on average, someone with a 4-year degree will earn almost $1 million more over the course of their lifetime than someone holding only a high school diploma. Moreover, during the last two decades, while earnings have increased for those holding college degrees, those with only a high school education have seen a decline in earnings.

This growing discrepancy is due to increasing market demands posed by globalization and automation, which have allowed low level jobs to be replaced in America and other advanced economies by positions requiring just the kinds of skills taught in colleges: analytical reasoning, problem solving, and effective communication.

Without addressing the great non-remunerative benefits of education to oneself and to our society, this clear and measurable benefit to obtaining a college degree is the resounding answer to the author’s question: “Yes, a college degree is worth it!” Rather than asking America’s employers to lower their standards, we should be asking ourselves, our fellow citizens, and our government to raise theirs: let’s work to see that everyone with the desire to do so is able to obtain a degree and to achieve a society where more than a mere one third of us does so.

L.E. Brinkley, St. Petersburg

Missing Ernest Hooper

Time to start a new chapter, for a new generation | Hooper column, Sept. 16

 James Borchuck  |  Tampa Bay Times
James Borchuck | Tampa Bay Times

With great sadness I learned that the weekly column of Ernest Hooper is ending. The Times is a great newspaper, but what makes it so great are the various voices that bring us different perspectives. Ernest was one of those voices. His clear insight gave us fresh voice every Monday morning. I am certain he will be a great asset to an already fine sports department, but his voice on Monday will be greatly missed.

Raymond Gross, Clearwater

‘Cheers’ is all I’m sayin’

Time to start a new chapter, for a new generation | Hooper column, Sept. 16

Ernest Hooper has been a fixture in many Tampa Bay homes. His columns have almost always been a refreshing slice of positivity to start a new week (and they certainly encouraged readers to be on the lookout for creative bumper stickers). My household will miss his thoughtful columns, but we look forward to seeing his work and impact as the Times’ assistant sports editor. Cheers, Mr. Hooper, for giving the Tampa Bay community so much to reflect on over the years, and thank you for the indeterminable butterfly effect you have had on who knows how many. That’s all we’re sayin’ ...

Robyn Rusignuolo, St. Petersburg

Guns: more than one issue

Key voice on gun checks | Sept. 17

So Sen. Tom Lee thinks that background checks “make the most sense” for the Legislature to consider this session. I wonder why he feels they can handle only one contributing factor in gun violence while our children have to worry every day about shooters in the schools?

Ann Jamieson, St. Petersburg

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