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《经济学人》:大学毕业生的担忧

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Schumpeter
熊彼特

Angst for the educated
大学毕业生的担忧

A university degree no longer confers financial security
大学学历已经不再保证金融安全

Sep 3rd 2011 | from the print edition

MILLIONS of school-leavers in the rich world are about to bid a tearful goodbye to their parents and start a new life at university. Some are inspired by a pure love of learning. But most also believe that spending three or four years at university—and accumulating huge debts in the process—will boost their chances of landing a well-paid and secure job.

发达国家数百万的高中毕业生将要含泪告别他们的父母,开始新的大学生活。有些人被纯粹热爱学习鼓舞着。但是大部分人同样相信在大学待三、四年,虽然在这个过程中累积了大量的债务,但他们获得高薪稳定工作的几率将会大大增加。

Their elders have always told them that education is the best way to equip themselves to thrive in a globalised world. Blue-collar workers will see their jobs offshored and automated, the familiar argument goes. School dropouts will have to cope with a life of cash-strapped insecurity. But the graduate elite will have the world at its feet. There is some evidence to support this view. A recent study from Georgetown University’s Centre on Education and the Workforce argues that “obtaining a post-secondary credential is almost always worth it.” Educational qualifications are tightly correlated with earnings: an American with a professional degree can expect to pocket $3.6m over a lifetime; one with merely a high-school diploma can expect only $1.3m. The gap between more- and less-educated earners may be widening. A study in 2002 found that someone with a bachelor’s degree could expect to earn 75% more over a lifetime than someone with only a high-school diploma. Today the premium is even higher.

他们的长辈们经常告诫他们,教育是武装自己投身于全球化世界的最好的方式。蓝领工人看着他们的工作岗位迁往海外且被自动化代替,相似的言论此起彼伏。中途辍学的学生将要面对资金短缺的无保障生活,但是优秀毕业生则事业有成。有证据来证明该观点,乔治城大学教育和劳动力中心最近的一项调查认为,“获取高中以上的证书总是值得的。”教育上的资格证书与收入紧密相关:一位拥有专业学位的美国人终其一生可以赚取360万美元,而仅仅只有高中文凭的人其一生可以赚130万美元。教育程度高与教育程度低之间的差距可能已经扩大。2002年的一项调查发现,本科学历的人一生将比高中学历的人多赚75%,现在,这个数据甚至更高。

But is the past a reliable guide to the future? Or are we at the beginning of a new phase in the relationship between jobs and education? There are good reasons for thinking that old patterns are about to change—and that the current recession-driven downturn in the demand for Western graduates will morph into something structural. The gale of creative destruction that has shaken so many blue-collar workers over the past few decades is beginning to shake the cognitive elite as well.

但是,过去是未来的可靠向导么?或者我们处于工作和教育之间关系重新解读的起点么?旧模式将要改变的想法是有原因的——目前因经济衰退而导致对西方毕业生的需求减少,这将会转变成结构性的。在过去几十年里曾经抢走很多蓝领工人饭碗的一系列的创新,现在也开始对认知的精英构成威胁了。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
predictable [pri'diktəbl]

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adj. 可预知的

 
institute ['institju:t]

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n. 学会,学院,协会
vt. 创立,开始,制

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accountant [ə'kauntənt]

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n. 会计人员

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repetitive [ri'petitiv]

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adj. 重复的

 
widening ['waidəuiŋ]

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v. 使变宽;使扩大;拓宽;扩展(widen的ing形式

 
current ['kʌrənt]

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n. (水、气、电)流,趋势
adj. 流通的

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smart [smɑ:t]

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adj. 聪明的,时髦的,漂亮的,敏捷的,轻快的,整洁的

 
destruction [di'strʌkʃən]

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n. 破坏,毁灭,破坏者

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credential [kri'denʃəl]

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n. 国书,凭据,印信 vt. 提供证明书 adj. 信

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willing ['wiliŋ]

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adj. 愿意的,心甘情愿的

 


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