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How many people actually go to college and finish getting their degree?

I'm currently a senior in high school and i'm still trying to decide if college is worth the work needed to get in let alone getting your degree. #high-school


i finished my degree as a video designer and i make 100,000 a year. dylan C.

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Manuel! I think college degrees are valuable especially if you want a career that requires a degree. I finished my degree in Psychology and I'm happy I went to college. Of course there are other routes as well, some of my friends have chosen to go to trade school and have also done well. It matters on the career choice you pick and the requirements of it, for example if you want to to go to law school or medical school these are careers which require a college degree. There are other careers that don't necessarily require college but still a structured education in a different learning community. I would advise to research about your career options, maybe if you have some in mind you can post them and other professionals can give insight into what is needed to fulfill your choice. If college seems scary because of the debt that may come with it, there are ways to ease that debt by staying in state, commuting or living in an apartment than a dorm, definitely filling out FAFSA to make sure what aid you receive, and taking out federal loans-if needed- especially subsidized that do not accrue interest while you are in school. As a last note, I know right now with COVID this may be difficult but I would recommend if you can to get a group tour in or an open house to some colleges you may be interested in and research about them as well. You may end up feeling more decisive about going to college if you get a chance to see the environment and what it entails.

I hope this helps!

Best of luck!

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Manuel,

I am not sure about the number of people who go to school. I recently went to a college graduation. My sister earned a masters degree. During the speech from the president of the school, he mentioned that only 38% of people who try for their bachelor's degree graduate. The number was about 10% for those who go for their masters degrees graduate. I made note of these numbers because it was quite shocking to me.

I would say that those numbers should not influence your decision to go to college. The main decision to go to college should depend on how college would add value to your life. What do you want to do as a career? Does that career benefit from having a degree? It can be difficult to be in college, go through all that hard work, if you do not have a real drive to get to the end of the road. I will say that it took me 17 years to get my bachelor's degree. It was because I did not know what I wanted to do. It was not until I was in my early 30's that I figured out what I wanted to do. And then I was able to quickly move through the rest of the credits to get my degree.

I would recommend you be patient with yourself. It make take you some time to figure out what you want to do. If you really love that career, you should explore if you would benefit from any additional education beyond high school. I will tell you that even artists benefit from additional schooling. That does not always mean a college diploma. But there is probably some education that you can benefit from in any job. When I first became a supervisor, I went to a local college and got a management certificate. It was not a college degree, but my employer certainly appreciated my effort to get education to help me do my job. Say you want to be a video game designer, you do not need a degree. However, you would increase your value by taking art classes or learning software programs at a high level.

So I would say this - you should continue to learn and grow your skills. You need to stay engaged at being better at whatever you do.

Gloria

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Kiirsten’s Answer

Hi Manuel!

That's great that you're considering college! Funny story-- I was always told to go get my degree, when the time came for me to apply, I didn't want to (but my parents made me anyway). I ended up attending and getting my bachelors and had a blast! Although some classes were challenging, and it definitely was a culture shock for me going to a place so opposite of what I was used to, I made lifelong friends, discovered a lot about myself, and grew up in a way. Life is all about experiences and learning, college is a great place for that! On a professional note, many jobs now are "degree required" at the minimum, so it would be beneficial for your future to attend.

Good luck!

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Krasti’s Answer

Hi Manuel,
There are some really good responses here already. I do want to emphasize the fact that college is not just about getting a degree. Attending college helped opened a lot of opportunities for me. A lot of companies go to school to not only recruit people, but also teach students on life lessons, etc. Not only that but college also made me aware of other areas of expertise. I was able to explore different classes/majors because I wasn't sure what to specialize in. I would suggest you to think about what kind of career you would like to have. If that career requires a college degree, it is worth going to college for a degree. On the other hand, if you don't know what you would like to do yet, then attending college is still the safer option because you will still learn a lot and could guide you in the right direction towards a career that you will like. If you pick a job that doesn't require additional schooling, then perhaps you don't need to go to college. But no matter what, you should always continue to learn, whether it's by school or classes on your personal time. Good luck!

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Phina’s Answer

Hi Manuel,

I just wanted to piggyback on what Yasemin said above based on my experience.
Looking back, I didn't know what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be when I was your age. I just knew that I wanted to go to college to see what it would be like. So I started my undergrad as an 'open major,' got to explore some majors that interested me by taking different classes in my freshman year, and finally chose my major at the end of my sophomore year (and still was able to graduate on time).

There are lots of opportunities out there that you just might not be aware at the moment and I think college can help you broaden your horizons.

I wish the best of luck to you!

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Sandra’s Answer

Hi Manuel,

Although the career world is consistently changing, especially the "new normal" due to covid. Think of having a college degree as as step ahead similar to being bilingual. Even though you can still work your way up in any career without the college degree, instead of starting from the bottom (entry level). By graduating from college with a degree in your preferred field, you would be allowing yourself to start from the midway point or even higher.

I would suggest to really dig deep and decide where you feel the best career would be for you. Then meet with a guidance consular at your selected college to learn what classes/steps you should take to graduate with your degree and start your career.

Also, remember that most of your peers will be graduating and moving on to have their careers, their own businesses, that is the time to start building your network. LinkedIn, is also a great source for career networking.

Graduating college with a degree is about building a career and foundation for your life and retirement. Best of luck in your endeavors!

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Dyon’s Answer

Hello!
I had the same questions when I left highschool. I didn't know what my direction was or what career I wanted to go into. I ended up leaving college and going into retail. One thing about that was that it helped me have time to think about my future. I ended up figuring out that 1. I wasn't able to actually get into any high level career paths outside of retail and 2. that my passion wasn't retail! :-)

I ended up going back to college for a couple Master's degrees and that did open up the doors for me. I was able to lvl up and start making more moment than I had before. Of course, this can happen without going to college, but going to college adds that extra spice that helps open future doors

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