Most bachelors degrees are essentially worthless at the moment without continuing graduate school. I just completed a degree with a B.A. in Psychology, and I went for this degree with the understanding that without continuing my education, my degree means absolutely nothing. Same goes for social work, you need an advanced degree for it to be viable.
Would I likely have chosen another degree had I known better? Absolutely. Although I'm passionate about I.O. Psychology, I know I would have done just as well in computer science. But mind you when I was first going to college, and living in Miami, computer science was not a good major to get into, considering all these jobs were being outsourced to other countries. Now in 2013, my husband is making bank with his A.A. degree in IT (even though we now live in the middle of nowhere for that job). I'm still in school with the hope that after I'm done with grad school I will make what he is making now at the very least, except with a lovely student loan to boot.
You guys tend to blame the students. And yeah, maybe some students do know better, but many don't. As someone who is the daughter of two parents who did not have the opportunity to go to school in their mother countries, I did not have guidance. I did it all on my own, from the moment I went to first grade up until I graduated with my B.A., and all of it I played by ear. I asked my parents for guidance, and all I ever got was "just go to school in what you feel is right, work hard and you'll get to where you want to go." I thank them for giving me the opportunity to be born and raised in this country, I thank them for a lot of things, but in the end, as much as I felt I knew about university during my senior year of high school-- the reality is quite different.
And that is what I'm doing. Yes you can blame students, but students are not the problem, the system is. We're just trying to do our best to make our family proud of us and be able to support them when they're old. No one goes to school with the intention of defaulting on their student loans, everyone has every intention of paying them. I know I do. I worked close to full time while going to college, I did not have a "social" life, as I did not have time for friends or clubs. I still am graduating owing a pretty penny even if I went to a public university.
People say study math and science, but even those who have a math or science B.A. are not immune. No one is. My husband and I had to move to the middle of nowhere, WV to make a comfortable living. Some people are not willing to leave their families to make this sacrifice.
We students are stuck between a rock and a hard place and all we can do is make the decisions we think will get us furthest and hope for the best.