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Is going to college worth it?

I am a senior in high school

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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10 answers


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Mary Beth’s Answer

That depends on where your goals and passions lay. You DO NOT need a college degree to be happy or successful in many professions…electrician, contractor, inventor, artist, plumber, mechanic, military, etc. Just don’t think that a degree with NO focus will get a job that will payoff student debts as it won’t.
Figure out where your dreams lie, what your passions are now, and then Follow your heart! The future is what you will make it so don’t follow someone else’s dreams…
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Patrick
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Michel’s Answer

This will depend on a lot of factors. I didn’t want to go to school once I finished high school. I ended up going into the military and realizing I didn’t want to be a worker bee the rest of my life. I ended up going to school after I got out and I fell in love with it. It all is going to depend. If you are not happy with going to school right now you probably wont love college at this point and time. There is no age limit for college and it doesn’t hurt to explore options before you commit to a 2 year or 4 year degree. Take some time and see what you like and explore your options. It can be harder getting back into the swing of things once you leave though. If you are unsure you can also go to work and attend school part time at a community college to get a bit of a feel for what college will be like. Just make sure to perform well if you do attend classes because you never know how far you will want to go and old bad grades can haunt you for a long time.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for your encouragement! Patrick
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Fernando’s Answer

It's great opportunity to learn and grow, but it all depends on what your looking with regards to a career path. Depending on what you're looking for you'd be better off going to a trade school. College is ideal for more specialized fields and if that's what you're looking for, go for it. When looking for colleges always remember to narrow down what it is that you want to study. Researching the curriculums on offer along with pricing is a vital part of selecting a college.
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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Patrick,

As Mary Beth stated, it really depends on what you want to do. For me, I think of college as an investment. If you want a career that would be enhanced by a college degree, then it's 100% worth the time and money to get a college degree. If what you want to do with your career doesn't require it, then it's a total waste.

The trick though, if figuring out what you want to do as a career. I think this is a seriously hard problem, but some people seem to figure it out just fine. Either way, you'll probably want to experience careers through summer jobs, volunteering, reading, etc. It might also help to interview friends of your family about their careers and their thoughts around it. You may want to ask trusted advisors what they think you'd excel at, and see if that fits how you see yourself. Or maybe you can think about the lifestyle you want in 10, 20 years, and work backwards to figure out what kind of job would support that lifestyle and what kind of education you'll need for it.

Anyways, I wish you the best and I hope this helped!

--
Dexter
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Patrick
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Matthew’s Answer

Now that's a loaded question. If your end goal requires some sort of degree to get in the door then you sort of have no other options. But if you are unsure of your end goal at this time, there's nothing wrong with deferring college for the future. Many of the friends of my sons graduated from high school unsure of what they wanted to do. They worked, maybe joined the service, maybe started a certification program (eg, auto mechanic). The point is they didn't dive into college just because they thought they had to go.
Know what you want to do. Figure out the options that you have in getting there. If college is not a must or not an immediate requirement, then go that route. Definitely don't go because "that's what everyone is doing" or "my so and so are forcing me to go". Before taking that first step, take a look at that map and start walking in the right direction first.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Matthew! Patrick
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Ramesh’s Answer

A college degree can open many doors and provide access to opportunities that may have been previously unattainable. College gives students the chance to gain knowledge and skills in their chosen field, network with professionals in their industry, and build valuable career connections. Additionally, higher education provides the potential for increased earning power and job security in the long run.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your support, Ramesh Patrick
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Dana’s Answer

This is a personal preference.

For me, college education was an absolute must. I could not have landed the job that I have right now without a 4-year degree.

But it might be wise to think through what jobs might be replaced by AI and robots in the future, when considering future careers.
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Chirayu’s Answer

The decision of whether going to college is worth it or not depends on various factors such as your personal goals, career aspirations, financial situation, and individual circumstances. College education can open doors to many career opportunities and provide access to higher-paying jobs than those that require only a high school diploma. Some careers require specific degrees or certifications, which can only be obtained through college education. College education can help you develop essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and teamwork, which can be beneficial in both personal and professional life. College provides many opportunities to connect with peers, professors, and alumni, which can be valuable in building a professional network for future career opportunities. College education can be expensive, and the cost can vary depending on the institution, location, and program of study. It's important to consider the financial burden of college education and evaluate the potential return on investment before making a decision. It's also important to consider alternative options such as vocational schools, apprenticeships, or starting a business that may provide a viable path to your career goals without the expense and time commitment of a college degree.
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Rafia I.’s Answer

You could defer it but let me tell you the older you get and more involved you become in side hustles, the less time, energy and capacity you are left with to finish college or even a certificate. The right time is to do it after high school, I know you feel like you don't know what you want to do but studying at college might open opportunities or avenues to get on the track. Then you can decide on the major. College degree teaches you life long lessons and ability to get involved in other stuff like starting your own business. Above all it also adds credibility on your resume if you are looking for a professional career.
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Joe’s Answer

Many good answers have been posted here before mine.
In general I agree with most here.
To make a decision whether to go to college consider all of the following

Do you think you will need a college degree (or more likely an advanced degree) to get where you want to go?
If the answer is yes...decide on the timing and money you want to spend getting that degree. Not all degrees are worth the money they cost to get them...For example...an Ivy League degree in a relatively arcane or irrelevant field is probably not going to be worth paying for ..unless you want to make a career in teaching at the college level and plan to get tenure down the road (advanced degrees, PHD's etc).
If you are sure what you want to do, need the degree, the cost is reasonable, and the time spent to get the degree is doable for you at this time in your life..then go for it.
Otherwise if any of the above are not true ...reconsider other options including deferring for later when you have more funds, time , or a better idea of what you want to do. It's never a bad idea to get some work experience in this case...because work will often help you better understand what you like and don't like and may help you make a better college decision down the road..not to mention allow you to accumulate funds to prepare for your college education and avoid debt ....and speaking of debt...
DO NOT ...go into major debt for ANY undergraduate degree...don't care what degree or college. If the Ivy League wants you they will pay for you most of the time...and if they don't pay for you...consider another alternative more reasonably priced college. In the end you will still only get what you put into it..no matter what school you go to and you won't likely make up the cost of that undergraduate degree for many years if you go into the job market right after graduation (assuming no further education investment)
Also the above doesn't necessarily apply for professional schools (Medicine, Law)...I would be more inclined to borrow there if I got into any one of the top schools in those professions because you will likely make it back many times in your lifetime.
So treat college as you would anything else you purchase in your career...it has a value and it's not infinite and not zero...you need to really look at the cost benefit for any education decision you make and always err on the side of caution when incurring debt.
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