Tuesday night is tennis, more or less. We can't always do it, people get busy, but its the only time that the three of us can get together as a family. In that sense, it replaces the Sunday roast that was a centre piece of family life while the girls were growing up.
Both girls have been in the job market, wending their way through the complexities that exist today. Youngest has just landed an officer manager job in a small insolvency practice.
Last Tuesday, eldest and I were talking about her job search. She has the job that she took at a pub to support her way through university. After five years and now as a junior manager, she has expanded her hours to full time. She could continue in that role indefinitely. But she wants a longer term career more akin to her university studies. Youngest's new job has nothing to do with her university studies. She got it because of the other things that she had done and especially her recent contract work.
The early studies in the economics of education looked in part at the differential between full life earnings of people with different levels of education. The gap between graduate earnings and the less qualified was to become a justification for cost recovery measures. The gap also became a policy driver: the income gap shows the gains from more education; if we increase university numbers, society will gain. Increasingly, however, we are running into problems of correlation rather than causation.
Consider this. We create a credentialed system in which an increasing proportion of jobs require a mandated tertiary qualification. Excluding trades, I will come back to this in a moment, the practical effect is that those without degrees are increasingly squeezed into lower paid occupations. The statistical measures of the income differential between degreed and non degreed people continues to show a positive income differential linked to qualification. However, that differential says nothing about the real economic value of a degree. It's just a reflection of mandated credential creep. More and more graduates end up in lower income activities.
I mentioned trades. I would be interested to see a statistical analysis on this one. I have the strong impression that while the top end of the salary scale of those with degrees remains well above those with trades qualifications, the proportion of the graduate population earning less than the the top trades qualification has been increasing rapidly.
I am not saying that this is a bad thing. I am only saying that you cannot trust the stats without analysis.