Updated: Jun 19, 2019
For some, going on to college after graduating from high school seems like common sense in order to be successful. But in 2019, is going to college still worth the cost? Many young adults question whether a college education is “worth it” nowadays. There are very good points on both sides of the debate. So in my opinion… I guess it kind of just depends. It depends on the individual person and why they want to pursue a secondary education. So I made a list of the pro’s and con’s to consider before making the decision to pursue a college degree.
In my opinion, I feel like college is a scam for most. And here is why...
I, myself, got my Bachelor’s degree and even attended law school… until I failed. But the failure is not what makes me have a negative view of college. The reason I feel like college could be the wrong choice for some is because society pressures the youth to go to college right after high school. This makes young people feel as though they have to go to college to be successful. A lot of times right after high school you have no idea what career you want to pursue. Most never stop to answer the question, “What makes me happy? What career would fulfill me?” So some hastily pick a path and end up regretting it later once they have racked up a crap ton of debt.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I feel as though having an associates degree in any field is great for growing as a human being. The general knowledge offered by core classes elevates your intelligence. The socializing you learn is fantastic. Plus the networking opportunities that college has to offer are invaluable.
However, unless you are pursuing a career that requires a degree, (such as engineers, lawyers, anything in the medical field, etc.) I do not think college is necessary. And not only could you self teach yourself the things you may learn in college, but you could also save that money. College these days is extremely overpriced! If you want to open a business, you do not need a bachelors in business. If you want to be a police officer, you do not need a degree in criminal justice. If you want to be a journalist, you do not need a degree in journalism. But if you want to be a registered nurse, you need a degree for that.
So without further adieu, here are the pros and cons of attending college.
Pros Of Going To College
Those Who Attend College Have Better Interpersonal Skills
Like I briefly mentioned earlier, the socialization you can get from attending college is a great advantage. When you put a bunch of young people into an institution and make them adult together, they learn some stuff. They learn communication skills; with peers and authority figures. They meet a lot of new people and make new connections. And most importantly, this is a once in a lifetime networking opportunity. They meet hundreds of people daily who they could utilize their intelligence and skills later on down the road in their career or in their business.
Some Jobs Require A Degree
A degree is a barrier to entry for some careers. You simply cannot work in that field without that piece of paper that says that they went to school for it. So going to college opens up doors for your future that are closed without it.
College Graduates Have Higher Employment Rates
The National Center for Educational Statistics states that the employment rate was higher for those with higher levels of educational attainment. So someone with an Associate’s degree had a higher rate of employment than someone with only a high school diploma, and this trend continues through all levels of education.
College Graduates Make More Money
According to a national report by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, high school graduates earn an average of almost $30,000 per year. Bachelor's graduates earn an average of just over $50,000 a year. And those with a higher level degree (master's, doctorate or professional) average nearly $70,000 per year. This translates to a significant earnings gap over the course of a lifetime.
College Graduates Enjoy More Work Benefits
Most jobs that require a degree tend to also provide more benefits. These benefits can include health care, retirement investment, travel, and other perks. These types of benefits are rarely offered for high-school-level jobs.
Con’s Of Going To College
Tuition Is Ridiculously Overpriced
College shouldn't be a debt sentence. However, for a lot of Americans, it is. Most cannot afford to finance their education out of pocket, so they have to take out loans. Most pay a lot more interest over time than they could have ever imagined. And some never make enough money to pay back their loans, because compound interest just keeps inflating the loan.
College Delays Graduates From Reaching Milestones
The cost of higher education usually is a trade-off against something else. Saving for retirement, investing, buying a vehicle, or buying a home, are usually pushed back until after graduation. Because a lot of graduates’ financial lives get sat on the back burner during college they tend to put their social lives on hold as well. They don’t have as much free time so they miss out on friendships and relationships. They cannot afford to live on their own, so they are forced to live with their parents (I.E. marriage and children wait). Also, college means that a lot of graduates will not pursue a career they truly want, but will settle for a job that pays the bills while they are attending college.
A Degree Might Not Be Necessary
Many successful people never graduated from college. Many jobs do not require college degrees. Many college graduates have jobs that do not require a college degree. So unless the career your pursuing requires a degree, weigh the pro’s and con’s and going to college to see if it would “worth it” for you.
Many Recent College Graduates Are Unemployed or Underemployed
Despite attaining a degree a lot of college graduates struggle to find work. When they do find work, they often times end up underemployed. They settle for a job they are too good for. Then they have to stick it out and move up the ladder for a better position.
You Could Regret The Experience
According to a 2017 Gallup survey, 51% of Americans who pursued education beyond high school would consider changing their degree type, institution or major. If you’re not 100% sure about what you want to do, you could end up making quick decisions about your college education that you’ll regret later. And quick, careless decisions can be expensive!
You May Not Even Graduate
The National Center for Education Statistics found that only 59% of students they surveyed at public colleges completed their degree within six years. And if you don’t finish your degree, that’s thousands of dollars down the drain!
So basically, IS COLLEGE WORTH IT? My answer is: IT DEPENDS. It depends on the individual person and why they want to pursue a secondary education.
Everyone should get an associates degree to elevate their intelligence and increase their socialization skills.
If the career you are pursuing requires a degree and it will boost your earning potential then go for it!
If your career choice doesn’t require a degree, I would be wary. Do all your research to make sure that you are making the best choice for your future and that you really want to spend your money on that.
Like any other investment, do your research and figure out if that’s the best use of your money. Is the reward greater than the risk? Be objective and reflective.
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