June 13th, 2011
04:40 PM ET

Has the value of a college degree changed in recent years?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama flew to Durham, North Carolina, Monday to meet with his Jobs and Competitiveness Council hoping to get some ideas from corporate leaders on how to boost the economy and promote job creation. Now there's an idea.
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He's going to need all the help he can get. With 9.1% unemployment, things aren't looking so hot, particularly with the jobs situation so bleak for college age and college-educated young Americans, a demographic that widely voted for President Obama in 2008.

According to a one study, the median starting salary for students graduating from four-year colleges in 2009 and 2010 was $27,000 a year. That's 10% lower than what those who entered the workforce from 2006 through 2008 earned. A separate study found only about 45% of college graduates under age 25 are working a job that requires a college degree. Less than half. That number varies from major to major: Those who majored in education and teaching or engineering are much more likely to find a job requiring a college degree. But while engineering jobs are highly paid, education and teaching jobs have much lower earning potential.

And here's a sobering thought: Half the 54,000 jobs created in May came from McDonald's.

All of this is reigniting the debate over whether a college degree is really worth it in this economy. Over the past 20 years, tuition and fees at public universities have jumped nearly 130%. But real income for the middle class has actually dropped. The latest figures show the median income in the U.S. is $400 lower than it was in 1988.

We hear a lot about dealing with a "new normal" in the wake of the Great Recession. Choosing against a four-year college degree may be part of that for some Americans.

Here’s my question to you: Has the value of a college degree changed in recent years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Education
June 13th, 2011
04:39 PM ET

What do you want to hear from Republicans at tonight’s presidential debate?


The hall at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire is nearly ready for the first CNN Republican Debate. (PHOTO CREDIT: Bryan Monroe/CNN)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

We're about 17 months away from the 2012 presidential election. A handful of Republican hopefuls have already declared they will challenge President Obama, a few others have indicated they will do so in the coming weeks.

If unemployment doesn't come down and people don't start to feel more optimistic about their future, the GOP's biggest challenge will be to avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Tonight seven Republican presidential hopefuls will debate in New Hampshire, live on CNN starting at eight o'clock. We're likely to hear a lot about the sad state of the economy, how President Obama has failed at job creation, why this country is so deep in debt, and how each of these men and women think they can change things. There will be promises of no new taxes, and steep cuts to government spending. Mitt Romney, who has emerged as the early frontrunner in the field, will have to defend attacks over the universal health care law passed in Massachusetts when he was governor. And Newt Gingrich will try to convince voters he's serious about running after most of his staff abruptly quit late last week.

This is just the second in a series of debates scheduled for Republican hopefuls. The characters will likely change over the months - Jon Huntsman, Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani and Rick Perry are all possible additions in the coming weeks. The issues, however, are likely to remain pretty much the same.

Here’s my question to you: What do you want to hear from Republicans at tonight's presidential debate?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Republican Party