In recent decades, we’ve made the mistake, both in policy and culture, of assuming that a four-year degree is the only ticket to success. While the “credential treadmill” – the trend of requiring bachelor’s degrees for jobs that did not previously need them – has real and disastrous consequences for the majority of Americans who do not have a college degree, those consequences are themselves largely the result of policy decisions that favor universities over alternatives like apprenticeships. We should rebalance policy so that any route to a successful career is supported.

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