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Is college even worth it?

With how expensive college is sometimes I have to wonder to myself is college even worth it? I could just not go to college and get a plumbing job making 80 grand a year. What exactly is the huge benefit of going to college? #career-decisions #college #career #higher-education

College isn't for everyone. Getting a higher educational is always going to be beneficial since you're going to be exposed to new opportunities. However, decide whether 2, 4, 10 + years of your time is really worth it along with the debt. You need to have a plan. If after high school say there's a job opening as a mechanic and you apply and are a good candidate based on your desire to learn and assist other mechanics they might offer you to get certified. Some jobs require you to have a title or degree in order to perform certain duties and they might offer you the schooling for that. Just be cautious this is not always guaranteed. Ana C.

For example, to become a doctor your loans are going to be around 150,000. That's a lot of money but you also have to take in consideration the salary is going to be 200,000 a year depending the specialty. You won't be living pay check to pay check if you know how to spend your money. Ana C.

Hey Alex! I would check out this link that explains the median for salaries from entry level to education required https://smartasset.com/retirement/the-average-salary-by-education-level Kristin Adkins

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Joseph’s Answer

That is a question that doesn’t have an answer until you decide what you want to go to college for? If you’re conflicted about either going to college, pursuing a trade (referred to as the other 4 year degree), or some other avenue then you’d be best served to consult with a career counselor. There are many evidence-based practices that show career assessments are very effective for researching jobs that match your interests/personality/aptitude’s, etc; O*Net.com (Dept of Labor) site is a great resource to take career assessments as well as research jobs, market trends, and employment fields that are growing and what typical path is needed to obtain work in that field.

If the position requires college, I suggest researching how many years but, regardless, community colleges are a no brainer if you want to get a low cost (or free based on your background and area) 2 year college education (Associates Degree). Even if you need 4 years (Bachelors Degree) or 6+ (Masters Degree) you’ll save on two years of college while most likely being able to transfer your community college credits to your next college.

If your career assessment results and/or research you perform doesnt point towards college then so be it. Either way, you’ll need to research the steps but should feel confident in your pursuit of a career that matches your personal and professional goals.

Good luck and remember that a career you pursue now may be geared towards your current interests and skill set. However, this may change as time passes so the more educated/informed you are the better.


Joseph recommends the following next steps:

Speak to people in the fields you are drawn to.
Myers Briggs or Strong Intetest Inventory (SSI) career assessments tests (online)

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Sarah’s Answer

Hi Alex! I think you're off to a great start by asking this question. I've seen several articles recently that discuss the validity of encouraging 18 year olds to agree to pay back tens of thousands of dollars in debt when they have no plans beyond college. Growing up, my parents didn't push college but they did ask that my brother and I make the decision to go to college or learn a trade. Essentially, asking us to choose a path that would likely result in a career. Of course your example of a plumber would be a tradesman. My brother chose to be a tradesman, I chose to go to college. Neither choice is wrong, just different paths. I would encourage you to pursue something you're passionate about.

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Seth’s Answer

The short answer to your question is maybe. College is worth it if you like school and there is something that you want to do that requires a college education to do it. Interestingly, I think you could ask the same question about whether it is worth it to learn to be a plumber or electrician. College is just a way of learning. I'm not sure that learning to be a plumber is really easier than 4 years of college. Plumbing, like most trades involve an extensive apprenticeship (learning) period before you are an expert.

If you have an interest, or better yet, a passion, go for it. Yes, it help if it is a passion where you can earn a living. Being good at a trade is a great way to do that. But make sure that you strive to be at least good.

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Sheryl’s Answer

Hi Alex,

As with the answer to most "yes" or "no" questions, the real answer is "it depends". There are many careers in which you can excel without a college education (like professional gamer or game developer), however, there are many careers that require a degree (like teaching)... sometimes any degree is enough. If you think you may want to bypass college, you will want to research your options for your chosen career. It is much easier to go to college straight out of high school versus later in life when you are busy with other things, like making a living to support yourself or your family.

This is a BIG decision. If you just aren't sure, you may want to consider a Junior College or a reputable technical college as a start.

One final bit of advice... education is NEVER wasted.

Sheryl recommends the following next steps:

GO to your local library and speak with a librarian to research careers you are interested in as well as options for careers that do not require a college degree. Librarians are paid to help you and should be able to provide you with a ton of information that you had not considered.