Is Getting a College Degree a Mistake?
According to FinAid.org, the average debt load for graduating seniors is around $24,000. With current federal student loan rates around 7%, the cost of attending a university with borrowed money is quite high now. Factor in the four years of lost income because of the time studying, and it would appear that someone who skipped college might be better off than a graduate with a large amount of debt.
While this may seem true in the short term, statistics from U.S. Census Bureau show that college graduates will earn close to $1 million more than high school graduates without a bachelor’s degree. The total jumps almost half a million more for graduates with a master’s degree.
To be fair, it is possible for job seekers without a bachelor’s degree to land a great paying job. Dental hygienists, real estate brokers, commercial pilots, and even funeral directors have high average salaries and require less training than a typical four-year degree. The reality of landing one of the highest paying jobs without a degree is something that is often overlooked by college enrollees who think a degree is a right of passage to good paying jobs.
In all reality, we know that you can be successful with or without a degree. The key to being successful in a career is having a passion to learn new things. For some, college is the platform that teaches them how to learn and to improve in their work. Others may need a hands-on approach and learn best in the work setting.
I think that most people would agree that the work environment is changing and we’re seeing a large number of graduates with general bachelor’s degrees flood the market. It’s been said that the bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma and that a master’s degree is the new bachelor’s degree.
Whether you have a degree or not, the most important thing that you can do to help further your career is to differentiate yourself from the pack. Continuous learning, entrepreneurial habits, and a drive to improve in your field’s skillset will show through as you compete for job openings and advancements. Having a degree certainly doesn’t hurt, but a person who can show a love for learning and an entrepreneurial drive will most likely rank higher than someone who coasted through college.