Economist Bryan Caplan *97 argues that college serves to recommend students as good employees — by certifying qualities like intelligence and work ethic — rather than to impart meaningful skills. In The Case Against Education (Princeton University Press), Caplan says that growing access to higher education has not led to better jobs, but it has exacerbated credential inflation, among other things. He suggests drastic cuts in government spending and increased vocational training.
Former Princeton president William G. Bowen *58, who died in 2016, is well-known for his work to address broad problems in higher education. Ever the Leader: Selected Writings, 1995–2016 (Princeton University Press) is a collection of his speeches and other works from his later years, in which he discusses a wide range of topics through the lens of higher education.