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Anthony P. Carnevale and Jamie Merisotis don't buy all the handwringing suggesting that college credentials aren't a ticket to a better life anymore. As documented in "The College Advantage," a new report that Carnevale co-wrote and Merisotis' Lumina Foundation funded, those with a four-year college degree have undoubtedly been affected by the current recession, but their rates of unemployment (and underemployment) are far lower than the rates for those without a diploma.
But that doesn't mean that Carnevale and Merisotis believe that the higher education system is doing its job for the economy or for society.
In a wide-ranging conversation Wednesday with Inside Higher Ed's editors and reporters, the two shared their views about the report's implications for colleges, the mismatch between the demand for educated workers and the current higher ed system's production of them, and the pressure on institutions to prove their value in the face of rising tuition prices and growing student debt, among other topics.
Carnevale is director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, and Merisotis is president of the Lumina Foundation.
Excerpts of the conversation can be found in the podcast here.