There has been a lot of debate on the value and cost of education around the world. Many professors and esteemed persons have stepped forward to debate the relevancy of a college degree when obtaining a good job versus the cost of such education. This topic hits really close to home as many friends, family members and colleagues of mine are plagued by student debt. Yet, not all have been able to capitalize on the degree that made them a debtor. Many have not been able to capitalize on the promise that their degrees would provide them stable incomes.
I glanced around and realized that my eldest daughter also had some friends who struggled in high school. These young people graduated HS and have gone to trade school. Afterwards these young ones were able to secure lucrative plumbing, technical and electrician jobs.
This has been in contrast to my daughter and others who have opted for college in their respective fields, due in part to the fact that certain fields require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree for entry level jobs. God is good and my daughter is on a trajectory to graduate with two completely separate degrees, due to an educational scholarship. However, many of her friends and mine have not had that fortune and are paying for their higher education. This can lead many people into debt. The student debt crisis is real. Many people will not be able to pay off their debt until very late in life, if at all.
I paid for my degrees little by little and in cash. I first opted to get an associate degree that would guarantee me work immediately. Then I worked while paying for my bachelors concurrently. I grew up respecting the benefits of higher education and it was instilled in me this reverence for college at a young age. But I cannot ignore the fact that for some people it may not be worth it. As a result of this I have decided to share some information in case it may help others with their decision making.
If you want a degree
Please research the degree you are hoping to start. Do your due diligence. What is your career outlook? Are you passionate about this degree? Do you think it will increase your ability to find employment? What are your motives for getting this degree? Are you planning on this degree to please someone else? That someone else can be your parents, spouse or friends. Make sure you are researching the degree that’s right for you.
Do not pay for the name of a school. Remember you are paying for the quality of an education. The quality of your education is not inevitably linked to a more expensive “status” school. I believe the name of a school only helps you in small instances. Employers want someone who knows what they are doing. They want someone who adds value to their company. They are not looking for someone who went to such and such school, who knows nothing. It does not add to their bottom line and companies look to increase their revenue. Unless of course your dad or father in-law owns the company, in which case, carry on.
Look to see if your in state or city institutions offer you value for your money. In other words, can they give you that degree? Will you get a decent education there? If the answer is yes, then go.
You don’t want a degree
Ask yourself some serious questions. Are you interested in working? Do you want to be employed or do you want to open your own business? No judgements over here. Just be honest with yourself.
What do you want to do with your life? Not everyone wants to go to college. That’s fine, just have a plan to support yourself. Are you planning on going to study a trade? Are you planning on going to straight into the workforce? Do you have the qualifications to get the job that you want? If not, would taking some classes or apprenticeship help to improve your value to the workforce?
There is value in everyone. Please do not misunderstand what I am writing. You are a valuable human being. You may be a valuable partner, friend, brother, mother, sister, aunty, cousin, son or daughter. Nonetheless, if you aren’t adding value to a company, they will not care about your individual value.
Look into options like mail carrier, plumbing, rail-track laying operators, explosives workers and earth drillers, landscaping, railroad operators, patient care technician, home health aide, wind turbine technician, medical assistant, LPN, massage therapist, phlebotomy, pharmacy technician, maintenance and repair workers, food service managers, telecommunications installer, steel workers, gas station operator, etc. You don’t have to limit yourself just because you choose not to attend college.
There are benefits to a college education. I am very pro college but respect that this route isn’t for everyone. Both college educated and non-college educated people have low and high paying jobs available to them. Please explore your options. I will be making a list of jobs/job outlooks in the future so look out for that. I will link it to this article once it is completed.