The requirement for a college degree, along with the very real problem of 'grade inflation' in many of our nation's best known schools is creating a madly circular situation. The stronger the push for college education, the more pointless the education becomes--meanwhile families and individuals are driven into obscene levels of debt out of a desperate feeling of necessity.
Most tech jobs require targeted education, not a degree. Classes I took just a few years ago are out of date, certainly a degree earned years ago is largely irrelevant (in addition to the fact that many people wind up in fields only distantly related to their college courses).. I disagree with the assumption that it makes better employees, my works at a prestigious university and can attest to that.
In the US, the obsession with college dates back to the time when it was ruled that aptitude tests could be considered racially discriminatory. Companies basically 'outsourced' their testing to colleges rather than risk an overzealous government second guessing them. At the same time, people with degrees were making more money and people simplistically assumed sending everyone to college would have that everyone would make more money (alas, reality doesn't work that way). Creating more graduates does not create more big money jobs, there will always be a limited number of high paying jobs (and a limited number of suitable candidates) and everything else remains the same.
What we have now is a nation of people with hundreds of thousands of debt doing work that could really be done with high school or some technical training. Not good. This especially works against those whose family situation doesn't allow them the luxury of an additional 4-6 years of non employment after high school.
-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --