This article is written in repsonse to Value of a College Education,why a college education can help achieve your career goals.
After 4.5 years of college, it is not uncommon to graduate with about $20,000 in school debt. Upon graduation, many loan programs allow graduates a six month “grace period” in which they are expected to find a job and begin making payments. For most graduates, this is not a huge problem, however, finding that job just might be.
We’ve all read and heard about how necessary a college education is, how beneficial it is, and how the only good jobs are attained through college. However, sometimes I think that a four year degree is pretty overrated. Not only that, but why are 2 year technical colleges so often overlooked? Aren’t jobs like massage therapy and dental hygienist valuable, credible, hard working and noble jobs too? In fact, one could provide a decent living for themselves and a family with a job that only takes two years to be trained for. And what about some of those four year programs? Can you imagine that there are universities who will gladly rake in $40,000 over the years while handing out a measly “general studies” degree?
Perhaps there are a lot of great jobs that can only be attained with a college degree; however, sometimes I think recent high school graduates jump on the 4 year degree band wagon a little prematurely. It is often the expectation and norm for high school graduates, especially those graduating with a high GPA, to continue on towards a college education. They are often targeted by universities, both private and public and most parents and teachers want these students to be able to get a valuable college education.
I am by no means saying that a college education isn’t valuable; it offers lots of benefits and greater job opportunity.
However, it is necessary and wise to consider all of the options when choosing what to do after high school.
Debt stinks. It really does, you get locked into it and it takes years and years to get out. So, while attaining that degree, there are a few helpful things to consider and recommendations that I would strongly make.
First of all, before registering for all those classes (or helping your son or daughter register) count the cost! Tuition is expensive, (very expensive), as are books, food, housing, parking, supplies, expenses, and transportation. Many citizens believe that there is no way around the expenses, however, there are plenty of ways! Start your education at a community college and live at home for two years. Or, if you absolutely must, rent an apartment with friends. Transferring to a four year University is always an option, or you may find a great job with a two year associates degree. Also, why not work for a year before starting college? It may not be your dream job, but it will most likely motivate you to pursue higher education, as well as provide financially for tuition and other costs.
Also, while you are studying or a college student, Work! Many parents are under the notion that their children will need 100% concentration and attention to their studies in order to succeed. However, I strongly urge college students to find a job that relates to the field they are planning on going into! It is great job training and looks beautiful on a resume. Also, there are plenty of ways to cut the cost while in college! Buy used textbooks, and share textbooks (yes this can actually work.) Buy the cheapest meal plans and don’t be afraid to live off campus.
Fortunately, most college students consider themselves poor, so you’ll have plenty of people to eat ramen and peanut butter sandwiches with. Also, there is no need to have a great wardrobe in college. You can get by pretty minimally in clothing and food expenses. Also, another extremely important factor to consider when planning that college route is the career path itself. Are there jobs available? Will I need to relocate after college? How much of an income can I anticipate? Is this REALLY what I want to be doing for the next 35 years?
All of these questions and more are vitally important when making the big decisions considering college and career choices.