Is A College Education Right For You?
The Millennial generation and every generation after them are being encouraged to get a college degree. However, the cost of college tuition and materials has gone up exponentially while wages remain about the same. Many people of the older generation say how they paid their way through college working a minimum wage job. If you do the calculations, they look something like this:
As you can see, things have changed a lot. The argument, “I did it, you can too,” is not valid. And people are getting thousands of dollars in debt, if not hundreds of thousands if you add in graduate degrees. All because our culture has instilled the mindset that you have to go to college to get a job.
You don’t. In fact, everyone going to college has left the U.S. with a shortage of skilled laborers. You know, the carpenters, welders, and mechanic types. They can make a pretty penny just by going to a trade school. Often that means less debt and a quicker pay off time while making a stable living.
Even if you aren’t interested in any of the skilled labor areas, does that mean you have to go to college? Not necessarily. Being a good writer, for example, only takes dedication to reading, and practice writing. You don’t have to go thousands of dollars into debt to be a writer. And there are several other professions like writing that don’t need a college education. And if you like working in retail and food service, then you don’t need a college education at all.
But what are the benefits of a college education?
- Community: You meet a lot of smart, like-minded people with interests like yours.
- Exposure to New Ideas and Concepts: From the General Education classes to the different people you meet you are exposed to almost any idea imaginable.
- Exploration: You can explore a wide variety of subjects and careers and decide whether you like them or not.
- Opportunities: You have a lot of opportunities to have internships, participate in clubs and other such things. Plus a degree on your resume shows dedication and perseverance to reach a goal. That says a lot to an employer and could open up job offers.
- Satisfaction: Once you finish the four-plus year degree, you will feel an immense sense of satisfaction.
Is the debt worth it? Can you get scholarships and grants to help offset the debt? There are many ways to pay for a college education.
Whatever you decide to do, do it because you want to. Don’t go to college, a trade school, or strike out on your own for anyone else but yourself. And yes, it’s harder to say than to do, but it will be worth it.