When people debate on whether or now they want to attend college, there are several thoughts that go through their head. Some people don’t believe that college is worth it, and others believe a degree is everything.
Although it is difficult to say no to higher education, being in debt for many years after the completion of a 4-year program makes going to college a tougher sell. There are several other reasons you should consider your options when thinking about what to do with your life.
First, let’s take at the real cost of getting a degree. If you choose to attend an in-state public institution, you are looking at around $38,000 and out of state, that price more than doubles. This doesn’t include your housing and day-to-day expenses. Some states offer tuition assistance, and there are many federal programs to help pay tuition. Given you are eligible for these things, college might be a bit more worth it. A lot of people can’t access these things for one reason or another, leaving them to foot the bill by getting loans or paying directly.
You may take no issue with having to take out loans for your degree. If the program you want to complete is in an in-demand field, this may pay off. If it’s a generalized degree and you don’t really know what you want to do, there is a chance you won’t find well-paying work upon graduation. Then you’ll be in debt for almost no reason. If you know exactly what you want to do, go after it; but it’s not advisable to go to college just for the sake of attending college.
There are plenty of other options out there when it comes to education and work. There are associate’s degrees which are 2-year programs, typically at community colleges (cheaper & more flexible) and there are technical degrees to pursue. These both cost money but it’s not nearly as much and because they’re shorter, you start in your field sooner—making the “big bucks.”
Another thing to consider is going straight to work. The area you live in typically has specific industries, like oil, or mining. You will start at a low pay, but in the time it takes to acquire a degree, you will have likely moved up and gotten several raises. Some companies will even pay you to go to school after you’ve been with them so long. In the digital world, there are also plenty of options. There isn’t anything wrong with multi-level-marketing businesses, but there are other things make money with online. If you’re good at writing, have a great speaking voice, or can draw there are ways to make money. It may take some research, but there are tons of opportunities available to hard-working people that have chosen not to get a degree.
This isn’t to say getting a 4-year degree is a bad thing. It’s not. Many people start college and don’t finish which is a waste of money. Others can’t seem to find work in their field upon graduation and end up at jobs that they could have gotten easily without that piece of paper. There are many considerations as to what educational path is right for you, or if pursuing any type of degree fits into your future at all. It’s nothing to be ashamed of if you choose to do something else for a while and THEN go to school, or if you find a quirky career you love and stick to that. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that there isn’t an age limit on school but being tens of thousands of dollars in debt can make your financial life difficult.