“The problem for the business community is where you have kids who don’t have the rudimentary skills, and you have to take the time and effort to train them, get them some of the rudimentary skills, plus the special skills,” he said.

Sandy Baum, an independent higher education policy analyst, said she think there needs to be more counseling in advising students about how to make the right choices.

“I don’t think the problem is too many people going to four-year colleges,” she said. “The problem is too many people making inappropriate choices.

“What we’d like is a system where people of all backgrounds could choose to be plumbers or to be philosophers,” Baum added. “Those options are not open. But we certainly need plumbers so it’s wrong to think we should be nervous about directing people in that route.”

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