Is A College Degree Really The Best Investment?

The traditional route of college and career has become risky in a tech-driven economy.

Technology is rapidly transforming the world, but some believe workers aren't being trained well enough to adapt to the new economy.

Michael Spence, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank at Stanford University, said Thursday that the transition to a tech-driven economy will continue to create job polarization and income inequality unless people become smarter about how to invest in their own capital.

"The demand side of the labor market that's driven mainly by technology moves so fast that the supply side's having trouble keeping up," Spence told Andrew McAfee, who studies digital technologies at MIT and is the author of The Second Machine Age.

That means people need to adopt new ways of preparing themselves to enter the job market. The traditional route of going to college and expecting that a degree will lead to a dependable career is now risky, Spence said.

Spence argued that a properly functioning economy will need to rely on experts who can better forecast the right mix of skills and human capital. 

"You take people from academia, from economics, from business for sure, and try to pool this expertise," Spence said.