The cognitive disconnect is amazing, isn't it? "Most STEM degree holders don't go into STEM jobs ... How do we get more STEM workers into the market?" You have a market oversupply, and you want to make it worse?
I keep explaining that we need to cut away the entire college education system from the Government's hands. Leave that to the market; leave it to businesses to say, "Fuck! We are paralyzed, because we have to pay $250,000 for a professional, and need more than available to accomplish our business strategies!" Businesses should never be in this position, because their mode of growth gives them more-than-adequate warning about what positions they'll need filled; therefor, they should hire, train, and send to college cheap entrant employees, with preference for the lower-risk but similar-cost investment of hiring an available professional.
People don't believe in this because the mechanism is disconnected. By giving out the ability to go to college on the public dime or on indelible loans, you are enforcing the responsibility onto every individual to educate himself and prepare for the workforce. This means individuals have to make complex market analysis across the whole body of growth of industries and of the needs of those industries, whereas businesses only need to look at their operations and growth and work performance information and cross that with their prediction of their particular market to project the next few years of staffing needs. Projecting staffing needs for more than two years out is a normal business operation; is predicting the complex behavior of the job market a normal human operation?
By creating an institution to provide everyone a path to college education, we are demanding everyone get educated or be ignored by employers. The risks they must take are easily absorbed by the rich, and not so well absorbed by the middle class; the poor have the least ability to make these complex analysis and to handle the consequences of selecting a degree that leads to oversupplied markets with few employment opportunities and many prospective applicants. Meanwhile, the onus of building a workforce is moved off the businesses, who only need stretch out their hands and grasp at the abundant skilled labor, and throw back the pieces they don't like. All power is taken from the individual, and moved to hiring managers and directors and business executives.
The disconnect in this thinking is a powerful tool. It allows us to convince the masses that these education policies are good for them, are important social institutions, that we are helping them. Meanwhile, we not only create a terrible institution of disenfranchisement of the poor and the laborer in general; but also avoid addressing the problem of K-12 education by simply claiming there isn't *enough* education, and thus publicly praise ourselves for remedying the failing education system by sending more people to college when they would have more success in life if we abandoned them to the job market after high school and simply focused on giving them every advantage of education up until then.
I patently despise our current education system. I believe we can do much better; that we can, for little cost, adjust the education system to produce much better results in the general case, churning out an endless supply of geniuses through good educational technique. In theory, we should also be able to address specific challenges in poverty-stricken districts, not satisfying ourselves with a simple general improvement in the education of the poor, but instead acting to bring them even further up to meet with the educational success of the middle class by delivering that same education in a manner more effective for their situation. This would provide much greater academic advantages to our students than extending their state education through college, even if state-supported college education programs didn't have such negative impacts on the job economy.