It’s hardly a secret that college degrees don’t carry the prestige they once did. With declining enrollment rates, rising tuition and a mounting student debt problem, college is seen as a “must” by fewer students as time goes on.
Many factors contribute to this, besides the increasing cost of tuition. For example, the myriad of opportunities created by the rise of the Internet allows many to make a good living doing what they love while bypassing formal higher education.
And a college degree is only as good as what you can do with it, especially as the price of attaining a degree continues to rise. But marijuana legalization may be giving some people a reason to consider college again.
As cannabis laws relax and a legal industry grows throughout the U.S., more and more colleges are offering degrees that can be used in the marijuana industry. From a four-year degree program in medicinal plant chemistry at Northern Michigan University to a cannabis studies program at Colorado State University to a program looking at the science behind medical marijuana at the University of Vermont, the potential of legal marijuana is proving to be a boon to the continued survival of higher education.
And because of the ability of the legal cannabis industry to create jobs, those looking to get ahead may see a college degree as an attractive prospect.
“More jobs are being created in this space than in any other space in North America, with salaries sometimes more competitive than other industries,” said Karson Humiston, the head of Vangst, an employment agency specializing in cannabis jobs. “With every new state that legalizes, tons of jobs are opening up.”
There are many different aspects to legal marijuana and the industry will need many different skill sets. This means courses that focus on a small part of the industry will be in demand as people find their niche. Growing, transportation, research, manufacturing, processing, sales – all of these areas involve different sorts of knowledge. And as these parts of the industry become more competitive, the degrees that proclaim that knowledge will become more valuable.
Will legal marijuana save college? That may be too much pressure to put on the back of one plant, but if cannabis has proven anything, it’s that there is very little it’s not capable of. If any industry can bring people to seek a higher knowledge, it’s the legal marijuana industry.