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Is college worth it ?

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Wayne’s Answer

Hi Tyrese. Yes!

Here are 3 reasons why college worth it:

1. College Graduates Earn More Than Non-Graduates -- Despite the rising cost of post-secondary education, a college degree still pays off for the majority of graduates. On average, those with a bachelor’s degree earn significantly more than their peers with only a high school diploma. The median salary for workers with high school diplomas is $38,792, and they have an average unemployment rate of 3.7% as of 2019, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Northeastern University. By contrast, the median salary for workers with bachelor’s degrees is $64,896, and their unemployment rate is just 2.2% on average. Over the course of their careers, college graduates can earn hundreds of thousands more than those who don’t attend college.

2. The Majority of Jobs Require College Education -- In past generations, a college education wasn’t necessary to earn a middle-class income. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, two-thirds of jobs required a high school diploma or less before the 1980s. That’s no longer the case. Georgetown University predicts that 70% of all jobs will require some college education by 2027. Without higher education on your resume, it may be more difficult to find a high-paying job, and competition for available opportunities will be fierce.

3. College Graduates Are More Likely to Have Health Insurance -- With skyrocketing healthcare costs, having quality health insurance is essential for your well-being. However, purchasing health insurance on your own can be prohibitively expensive. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the benchmark premium for single-person policies purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace is $462 per month or $5,544 per year. College graduates are far more likely than high school graduates to have employer-provided coverage, offsetting their healthcare costs. The College Board found that 64% of workers with bachelor’s degrees and 70% of workers with advanced degrees had employer-provided coverage, while employer plans covered just 52% of high school graduates.

Good luck!
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Shante’s Answer

Hi Tyrese - I loved my college experience, but I'm not going to lie, I know people who hated it. College just isn't for everyone and if you don't think it's for you, explore other options. Look into trade schools. They pay really well and society will ALWAYS need plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists, hair stylists, etc.

But whatever you do, just make sure you really think about it and HAVE A PLAN for your career path regardless of whether or not you choose to go to college.
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Terry’s Answer

Hey Tyrese

All of the answers here are correct. I believe statistically you make more money over you lifetime working with a college degree, but there are a lot of people that become successful without a degree or finishing college or not going at all. This is one of the issues with life in the US now, we as a society have lost the art of doing blue collar work mainly skilled labor. All professional/very well educated people need blue skilled workers. So to answer your question. Are you prepared to pay a huge sum of money for the degree or do you have a skill that is valuable ?
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Sanjana’s Answer

From my personal experience, college is worth it for the opportunities it will lead you to after you graduate. If you don't have a college degree, it may be more difficult to go into certain career paths where a college degree is preferred. While only more of the upper-level classes that I have taken in college were beneficial, I would still recommend you to consider it as an option for you. College isn't for everyone or every career path - it is ultimately a decision you would have to make considering all the pros and cons.
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Christopher’s Answer

From my personal experience college was absolutely worth it. Working in Corporate Finance my degree gave me a foundation for financial concepts that I regularly apply in my day to day job. I don't think a college degree is necessary to live a successful and fulfilling life, I think it really comes down to what an individuals long term goals are, their interests, and what career paths you intended to follow.
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Victor’s Answer

It is really good investment in yourself for majority of people. Many jobs require degrees. Not only it can help you to prepare to enter workforce as professional but also would help to earn more. There are advanced degrees that can give you even more options.
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M. Cristina’s Answer

Hi, Tyrese!

This may not be the answer you want to hear, but: It depends.

Not every career path requires a higher ed degree, and there are options for people to learn skills that don't involve going to college. Some folks straight up don't like or thrive in a structured educational environment, and that's perfectly fine! The worst thing you can do is force yourself to attend college/uni when you don't want to, and then incur student loan debt for a degree you're only mildly passionate about using. There are other options for those who don't want to attend college. You can learn a trade, for instance, or you can work your way up the ladder in an industry like retail or (the business side of) food service. All respectable choices that don't require a degree.

Having said that, a lot of doors will open up for you career-wise if you have a degree under your belt. The truth is that many employers won't consider hiring for even entry-level positions unless the candidate has a degree. There are also many industries that require a minimum of a Master's or doctorate to practice, and there are no two ways about it; if you want to be, for instance, a physical therapist, you'll need a doctorate (DPT). If you want to be an athletic trainer, you'll need an MSAT. If you want to be a surgeon, you're going to have to endure 11-15 years of schooling after high school, because not a single soul is going to let a person without an MD perform surgery on them.

I tell students to think of their degree as a passport - you aren't guaranteed a fancy vacation somewhere international, but you definitely won't be able to do so without the passport. It all depends on what you want to do with your life.

Also, there is nothing wrong with going to college later on, if you choose to do so. Plenty of people decide to earn degrees into their 20s, 30s, even 60s. The college isn't going to say, "Oh, you didn't apply right out of high school? Get out of here!" Sometimes, these nontraditional students end up being a lot more focused because they've lived in the world a little longer than the typical student.

The takeaway message is - you do what's best for yourself. At the end of the day, success is what you make of it.
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Angela’s Answer

I went to college because I was socialized it is the key to getting a better job (first generation). I still struggled afterwards, but it depends on your network and if people are willing to give you a chance. There are stories where there are college drop outs that end up making it big later on and there are some that didn't. It is up to you, but having a degree is better than not. I suggest taking some courses, either online or community to get a vibe and if serious to dive deep, invest in an affordable college or look for scholarships, etc. Do research. Some self- study like coding or join a boot camp and can be ok without a degree.
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Lucía’s Answer

Depends on what you study and how much you really can afford. I dont recommend going into student debt. That per se is not worth it. Try to get into a cheap college that has good credentials. For example, abroad. Colleges in Ireland and UK can be far cheaper than in the USA, as well as Canada and Mexico. The best university of LatinAmerica is in Mexico City and is 4 times cheaper than any college in the USA. You can get a translation of your degree and licenses after (except for certain degrees like medicine, civil engineering and vet school, where you must be licensed in your country).

Lucía recommends the following next steps:

Research the top 10 degrees that are in demand or will be in demand in 5 years (by the time you graduate)
Research tuition on schools outside of the USA
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April’s Answer

Is college worth it? The answer is generally yes. Statistically it is associated with positive aspects like higher income, better health outcomes, and better life satisfaction. The first important point is deciding if you want or need to go to college for your career path. You can do this by researching the needs of the position/career you want. This can be done through websites like Google and YouTube.

College may be able to open the door to careers, networks, and other opportunities that you may not have received access to if you didn’t attend. Some degree programs even have an internship experience built into the graduation requirements.

Another thing to consider is what “it” is when you say ‘Is college worth it?’ If you mean pricing, there are many ways to go to college for a more decreased price than what is often talked about. You don’t have to go to the most expensive, prestigious college to be successful. You can consider community college and also in-state, public colleges. You can also get grants and scholarships (money that you don’t have to pay back) to help with the cost. Be strategic about the college you choose and you’ll see how that decision pays off.

If you mean “worth it” in terms of the hard work, the answer again, is generally yes. Anything in life worth having is going to come with some work attached to it. The best athletes become that way through many days of practice. Doctors are able to save lives through long days of studying as a medical student. Car salesmen are able to sell cars by knowing the behaviors and needs of people. So yes, college will take some time, dedication, self-disciple, and persistence. It will also cost you financially. But overall, look at this as an investment in your future. Take advantage of all the opportunities you have to make sure it’s worth it.
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Jianlin’s Answer

Yes, it is worth it. You will not only have systematic study in a specific field, but will also be able to know many friends in college. Good luck!
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prashant’s Answer

There are people who know exactly what they want to do with life. They can see much more clearly than the rest and go all-in.
Those are people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and few others who figure out that going to college will slow them down so they either didn't go to college or drop out of it.
Taking such individuals as example and following suit makes sense only if you can have a path charted out for yourself, just like they did.
Pardon me, but since you are seeking advice on this group, then most likely you are not in any of the above group of people.

Then there are those set of people like researchers and academicians who believe that institutional knowledge is vital for them and they willfully choose the college route. They follow a path that is diametrically opposite to the 1st set of individuals, and yet they are also perfectly happy in their world.

For the rest of us who are not sure and need help figuring out, it may be better going to college anyways. It could be a way for better job opportunities, salary, and a cushion in the form of health insurance, retirement planning etc. Education always helps directly or indirectly. Try not to get burdened under student loan, though. Choose a funded college or ensure that you get a scholarship.
Oh , and even after going to college, whenever you figure out that you can see clearly and do better by being on your own, then no one can stop you from being an entrepreneur.

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Carlos’s Answer

Hello Tyrese,

Yes I believe going to college is something that everyone should experience in their lifetime. College is a great place to explore and discover all different types of people, classes, culture's, and the list goes on. I know for myself I didn't want to go to college at the beginning, and didn't really understand it's importance. But for me I can look back today now, and easily say that College was one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to find out that I had a mind for the business world, and specifically finance after originally wanting to be some type of engineer. I was also able to be exposed to a melting pot of different people and cultures, and get out of my comfort zone that I didn't even realize I had until I got to college. For myself I was able to realize that I was in control of my own life, and that college was able to open my eyes to what else is out there in the world and in a good environment with all people trying to figure out things together just as much as you are.
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