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The Case for College: This Is a Big Decision

Less than a generation ago, going to college was a basic rite of passage. Anyone without a college degree was thought to be inferior in the job market and destined for a low-level career with limited wages and zero opportunity for growth. But today, huge tech companies are headed by famous billionaire dropouts, and college tuition prices continue to rise faster than inflation. I’s really hard to push the narrative that college is the only way to go. 

Student debt

The average American undergrad leaves school with over $30,000 in debt, which is way more than any previous generation. Now Gen Z and younger generations are worried about facing the same fate as people like me.

Missing the necessary curriculum

With all the money schools are getting these days, they really should be investing more in a curriculum that prepares students for the job market: Career-oriented classes courses on financial literacy, robust internship programs and networking opportunities are really what students need. Instead, education quality hasn’t really changed. Professors’ wages are stagnant, and students graduate with no real career prospects. This leaves many people wondering about the return on investment for a college degree.

Jobs that don’t need a college degree

Skilled labor is always an option. Well-paying jobs such as electricians, mechanics and contractors require training and some schooling, but not as much as a regular degree. If you’re better with your hands, always consider taking that path. College isn’t for everyone. And if you want to make money in the arts, start a business or work in social media; you don’t need a degree. In the end, networking and determination can get you very far as an entrepreneur.

When you’re the CEO of your own business, no one checks for an expensive degree. But if you’re still on the fence, ask yourself, “Is college necessary? Will it give me good value? Are there alternatives?”

College is right for some people.

Of course, some people should still go to college, especially if you plan to have a specialized career such as a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer or an accountant. But consider less expensive options. Most jobs don’t ask where you went to school. If it isn’t an Ivy League school and you don’t have a scholarship, a huge tuition price may not be worth it in the end. 

Deciding if college is right for you

In the end, if you want to get a college degree, make sure your decision is based on reality. Affordability and practicality should be on everyone’s priority list as most undergraduate degrees don’t guarantee a perfect career path. Choose a major that’s going to grow, and make sure that your education offers a reasonable return on investment.

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