Americans are sold on the idea of the "American Dream" almost from the time that they can talk. You are led to believe that if you stay in school, get good grades, stay out of trouble and achieve some kind of post secondary degree the good life is there for the taking.
The bar for the American Dream continually gets raised. For the 20-25 years following WW2 having a high school diploma and no criminal record was the ticket. Men (for the most part) following high school graduation could go to their one of their town's factories, mines or stores and become part of the growing middle class. They's marry their sweetheart and start a family. Women if they worked often worked part time. Growing up in the 60s and 70s all of my cafeteria workers, school bus drivers and school secretaries were women looking to get out of the house for several hours a day, make a bit of money, be able to socialize with others and escape the drudgery of housework.
By the time I graduated high school in 1977 the bar had been raised. If one wanted the life of their parents, or better, the college degree was now required. So I like many of my graduating class of over 700 trooped off to college confident in the belief the degree we would receive in four years would be that ticket to the good life. And for a little while it was.
Then came the late 80s and 90s and the four year degree not longer cut it. Wanted the good life? Now one must get a Master's Degree to obtain the American Dream. So in 1992 myself like millions of others like me enrolled part time (along with full time students just out of undergraduate) in an MBA program. I attended the very respected business school at University of Maryland and by 1996 obtained that herald MBA. Surely I was in the driver's seat to the good life.
Wrong. Fast forward to 2013. I get laid off like many my age. The undergraduate degree, the MBA, the years of experience. Good enough? Nope. Now you need a STEM degree from a "prestigious university" for that American Dream. And by the way, being born rich with connections is a big advantage. It took me five years of struggling now I'm finally on the road but for me unfortunately nearing retirement age.
So for the past