As the article “Skills Don’t Pay the Bills” clearly states is that oftentimes even though a college education is recommended to students coming out of high school it might not always make sense. There are several factors pushing people to spend more time post high school receiving education and not working but there are avenues that youth can use to either avoid further education or embrace it.
For many people school is just not an environment they flourish in which is understandable. It is for that reason that I believe many employers require college credentials as it at least implies that they were able to deal with the “rigors” of college. An alternative to college education is trade schools where you can learn blue collar work such as welding or construction. These jobs pay well above a “living wage” and are achievable with education available in high school or shortly after graduation making the barrier to entry lower.
On the other end of the spectrum there is benefits to going to college if it will get you a job that will reward you for your time. Unfortunately for most aspiring novelists and artists out there it is my humble opinion that you shouldn't waste your money on college and instead spend your money on living expenses while learning, practicing, and growing your trade. On the other hand if your degree has a high chance of securing you a job with a degree that will pay for itself (Often found in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics))
Going back to the article the jobs being provided for highly qualified students weren't any better than a managerial job at McDonalds When this is taken into account with the time and monetary investment they put into college it is simply not worthy of their effort. The economics of their education was flawed and they unfortunately paid the price for it.