Is College Still A Good Investment?
Is College Still a Good Investment?
The conversation about the rise in college tuition, additional fees, and student debt is nothing new in today’s society. You’ll find parents, their children, friends, and professionals all on various sides of the argument about the worth of a college degree to be successful in the job search. Some will argue a degree is obsolete, while others insist it is a necessity to even break through into the workforce.
When is college needed?
There is Evidence that Says “Yes”
On one side of the discussion, there are some valid points. For example, have you ever met a doctor that didn’t go to medical school? The answer is most likely a resounding “no.” There are still specific professional fields that require a degree be obtained, and often those include higher level degrees. At the very least, a college degree will give you an advantage in some other areas of professional industries.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found a compelling correlation to those who hold a college degree and the average weekly salary an employee makes. Research showed that the higher level of degree you hold, the lower chance you have of being unemployed. You also have a better chance of taking home more wages than your counterparts who have a lesser degree or no degree at all. Even if a degree is not required for a job, it might be a good investment if you can jump the earnings gap to pay off any student debt quicker and be able to leap to higher opportunities at the company to earn even more.
When is college not needed?
There is Evidence that Says “No”
For as many industries were a degree is pretty much required to get your foot in the door, there are just as many that don’t expect one. One example is real estate agents. If you’re living in Connecticut, understand the CT real estate market, and obtain your licensure, you don’t need to have any college under your belt to be successful. At just 18 or 19 years old, you can have a professional license to sell real estate and no college debt.
More artistic industries also can escape the college “need” if you have the motivation to get what you want and the right people working with you. Not every actor, musician, or artist went to college to learn their craft. Some start as child actors then stay in the business, and others find their way in because they are “discovered” or pursue their dream on their own.
If you can get started young in an industry, you might be able to escape college altogether. Under requirements in a job listing, you’ll often find a list of preferred degrees OR so many years of experience. If you work in retail beginning at 18 then decide to apply for the manager position, you can really give a college grad a run for their money. You’re already part of that company, understand its operations, and have 4 years of experience that a recent college grad doesn’t.
What about some college?
Maybe you started college and aren’t sure you need to finish your degree. Internships that are open for college graduates are incredible opportunities to make an impression that could lead to full-time employment without attending graduation. Software engineers can be self-taught savants, and a good internship with a desire to continue learning on their own can be attractive to an employer if you have good performance as an intern. You don’t go into further college debt or waste money finishing your degree.
Regardless of what road of college pursuit is best for you, talk with professionals in that field as early as you can. They’ll offer invaluable insight on whether you should get the degree or get the job first.