If anyone had asked me that question a couple of years ago, I would have said, unequivocally, yes. Now, I'm not so sure, at least with regards to the traditional type of college education. So, what made me change my mind?
For one thing, today's educators are not very educated. For another thing, instead of teaching children how to think and how to broaden their narrow world and expand their minds, they are more concerned with getting students to sign up for their courses so they have a full enrollment. College Deans tell their teachers not to fail their students and to give them good grades, so why should students waste their years going to schools that don't prepare them for the real world?
I still believe that everyone should be exposed to higher education and that no one should stop learning simply because they are no longer going to school. However, with the astronomical costs of a college degree and the scarcity of jobs available to college graduates, I'd be more inclined to tell everyone to take their first two years at a community college and then transfer to a school with a solid scholastic reputation for their Bachelor's degree.
Although a college degree does open doors and salaries are much higher than a high school graduate's degree, not everyone has the thirst for academic knowledge. Many students are more geared to technical careers and there is nothing wrong with them getting a degree from a vocational school. It's still learning, and it's still a way to earn higher wages.
And talking about higher wages . . . in the old days, accountants always had work but nowadays, with all the new tax software, more and more people are doing their own taxes. On the other hand, plumbers and air-conditioning workers earn more money than doctors and lawyers and their skills are always in demand. There are always people whose toilets get stuffed up and people who are in need of air-conditioning and heating specialists, so people trained in those fields always have work.
I still believe that people should do the kind of work that they feel passionate about because most of them are going to spend a lifetime in whatever career they enter.
When you leave school, it's OK to take the first few jobs to put food on the table as long as you keep your eye on the goal and grab the first opportunity to switch to something you love.