Something I've wondered about as well.
a) It's not really fair to the person who is not inclined towards academics that college is--or at least is often considered to be--the only reliable way to "get ahead." It would make sense for there to be more alternatives, like apprenticeship programs at corporations that the article describes (or unions or vo-tech schools or whatever else). Our system of one-size-fits-all higher education is clearly a social injustice of some sort.
b) It does degrade the world of higher education to some extent when the majority of students are in college primarily for the resume-padding/diploma rather than the learning itself. Of course, our system also means a lot of $$$ for the world of higher education, and so I imagine not much will change in the near future.