I think the answer depends very much on what you consider a "real job" to be, and also how you define preparation for one.
Do I think engineers need a degree? No. An apprenticeship would be a far better preparation in my opinion. Same with builders, plumbers, carpenters, farmers, tailoring.....
On the flip side, a degree such as Philosophy might appear to offer no preparation for a real job but I would argue that it does - anything that teaches you logical thinking and reasoning skills is going to be a good preparation for pretty much any job.
I think they pave the way for learning practical skills. The real job is the getting of experience and maturity and it is just a continuation of the learning process, which in my opinion, takes place over a lifetime.
I have no idea which they have, but I will say this...anything! is better, than them not doing something.
Having lived it with one son, I am now very happy he went to Tafe...After being at home 2 years first since leaving high school!!
I was about to leave home, if he had not done some study...so lets face it, if it is a slow start
to something better, I say go for it.
I think it just depends what degree or course you are doing. For my degree, a certain amount of time was set aside for work placement every year to get practical experience in your chosen career and also prepare you for that job.
There is only so much theory you can learn but without any practical experience in that job you are stumped and will be like a deer in head lights if your only experience is from when you walk in the door on your first day of work.
There are courses out there that I just see as a complete waste of time... everyone has great expectations when first starting them but they soon learn such careers are not in demand.
I think it definitely depends on the job. I also think many degrees do not fully prepare one for a job, but do give a starting background to understand some jobs more fully. For example, degrees in the medical field are probably necessary to get someone prepared!