I'm constantly given reasons to be grateful for my circumstances. I'm retired and happy for it. My Ph.D is in Applied Mathematics and, I've gotta be honest, it was so tough I thought I'd not make it at times. I suspect that where my degree comes from (MIT) hasn't gotten much easier, but I have to remark that I really don't see a whole lot of intellect being displayed by people with newer degrees. I assume they've got domain knowledge, I mean they must. Surely, they've done their defense and they're published in a quality journal and all that, right? Right? My school is pushing out more Ph.D holders but not in significant numbers but I do see the numbers at various other schools and someone recently posted a whole bunch of stats on this very topic.
But, yeah... They seem to be minting an awful lot of newly degreed people - I thought I'd bookmarked the link with the actual numbers but I don't seem to be able to find it. There's a finite value there. When I was in academia, I felt there was room for more people. At some point, however, there's the Law of Diminishing Returns and you end up with so many people that the quality goes down. I think I am suffering from some selection and some confirmation bias but it can't all be attributed to that. You're not the first one who's indicated that there's trouble, specifically with this, and it doesn't seem to be limited to Europe, I'm an American and it appears to be happening here as well. If everyone has a degree, what value is it and how much effort did it really take? It's devaluing quite a bit.
Though, I guess... It could be worse? Here? They're minting people with a bunch of varied degrees, nobody's going to tech/vocational schools, and they're all wandering around with crippling debt, worthless degrees, no education, little (apparent) common sense, hell bent on blaming someone else, and fully convinced that they deserve a trophy.
I sense a rant coming on so I'm just going to finish this up quickly.
I'm reminded of the passage from Plato in which he goes on to explain how the youth of his day are all inept and going to be the ruination of civilization and all that is good in the world. I don't want to be that guy. However, I've seriously been wondering if maybe there's a bit of a trend towards immaturity, insecurity, ineptness, and inability. I hope I'm wrong but it looks like people are so devoid of accomplishments that they're hung up on some trivial things as if it might give them meaning in their lives and this may well be to the detriment of future progress. How bad is it? How real is it? I have no idea. I do wish I were more articulate or I'd actually go for that rant right about now.
If it does matter, and it probably doesn't, I have lately had the chance to spend a goodly amount of time with two young boys who are both bright and articulate. They seem generally good people. My children, a bit younger than you probably are but not by a whole lot, are both well educated and productive (sort of - my son's not doing a whole lot but he's not causing harm or stomping around feeling entitled and expressing his superiority as if he's the pinnacle of achievement and morality) so I don't think it's an actual "age" thing so much as it is a culture thing within certain subsets of people. I presume they're well-meaning.
Ah well, I'll spare you the rant. I don't think I can articulate it well, so imagine I said something witty, intuitive, and insightful and insert it between the lines, make it six or seven more paragraphs, insert some vulgarity and bad grammar, and attribute it to me. It'll save us both some time and I'll get a trophy too.