The average Texas college graduate who walked down the aisle in that cap and gown this spring comes out of college with more than $31,000 in college loan debt.
So News Radio 1200 WOAI's Megan Bishop asked Adm. William McRaven, USN (ret), who is Chancellor of the University of Texas System, whether he thinks that a college degree is still worth it, considering the cost and the debt
."If you realize how much the state puts into the University of Texas, and the U.T. Health Science Center, and the return on that investment not only for the doctors but all of the students who graduate from UTSA, they drive the economic engine of the state of Texas," McRaven said.
McRaven, who is a graduate of San Antonio Roosevelt High School, was appointed Chancellor of the University of Texas System following a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy in which he become Commander of Special Forces, and was the man who planned and ordered the 2011 take-down of terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.
McRaven says, in addition to providing training for jobs ranging from medicine to law enforcement, a college degree also has 'health and social benefits,' and, for many people, it provides an entry into the professional class. In addition, McRaven says that college diploma provides the well rounded education needed for an individual to become a leader in the community, in an industry or profession, and in the state.
Local employers today say they are mainly in need not of sociology graduates, but of people who are skilled in technical and industrial fields, everything from writing computer code to operating high tech manufacturing equipment.
McRaven says those jobs are also critical to the economy, and are strongly supported by the U.T. System.
"I think there will always be a demand for that," he said. "That is good. You can learn those trades in technical colleges and community colleges, and we are supportive of all of those."
McRaven says the wide variety of skills being covered by Texas institutions is part of the reason the state remains one of the world's leaders in exports and innovation, as well as social development and change.