Attending college is a major milestone in most individuals’ lives, but with the cost of attendance, time it takes to attain the degree and the overall number of individuals who now have degree versus those that do not, the question must be asked is it worth it?
Cost of College
The cost of college is growing at an alarming rate. With these costs adding up and loans continuing to grow there is a growing mindset that the amount of loans attained during college is not with the job return. This may be true but it will depend on the degree obtained. Some degrees will not have as large a financial return as others.
Those with larger returns, such as doctors, nurses, or scientists may benefit more from going to college, while other individuals may benefit from trade schools or other blue collar jobs.
Time in School
Another issue brought up by individuals is the overall time degrees can take. With a bachelor’s degree taking approximately four years and other higher forms of learning such as masters or doctorates taking many more years, it may be beneficial to not attend college and instead work.
Joining the work force earlier may help gain more financial independence and allow savings and home purchases to start earlier.
Another point of discussion about whether college is worth attending is the number of individuals who now have a degree versus those that do not.
Previously, college degrees were more of a rarity while today a majority of individuals have obtained a degree. With more degrees in the workforce the level of worth reduces as most all individuals have at least obtained a associates degree.
Trade School or College Degree
Attending college may be beneficial but it is not as beneficial as it once was. The costs of loans and overall number of graduates mean attending a trade school may be a more viable option than ever before. Some versions of jobs will benefit or require a degree and will have a long term pay off that will override the cost of loans, while others may not.
One potential option is to attend community college, which generally is less expensive than a four year university, then transfer for the final two years for a bachelor’s degree. This allows a four year degree to be obtained while cutting the costs. Many successful people did not graduate from college, and with the shift to technology certificates and trade options may be a better alternative.