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Is college really worth it?

I understand the need for a further education in order to preform skills at higher paying jobs, but is having the debt of college loans and spending all that time really worth it in the long run? Neither of my parents finished college and they seem to be doing more than fine, but they also don’t posses the skills to go any further in life. It’s scary to think that if college doesn’t work out for you, it could completely sabotage your future, but most people make it seem necessary in order to ever become successful. So is college really worth the money, time, effort, and stress or is there another way to become successful-other than winning the lottery of course. #payingforcollege #isitworththerisk #success

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Subject: Career question for you

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Charlotte(Carly)’s Answer

Hi Ahnna,

Good question! Nowadays I think it is tougher to get by without a degree, as it shows employers you can apply yourself and follow through on a long term commitment. Although, I think there are ways around everything, so if college is just not for you will not be sabotaged it just might take a little longer to get to your goal/ ideal career.

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Frank’s Answer

College is one way to get an education. Trade school is another way to get an education. Self learning and/or work experience is another way to get an education. Depending on what type of career you want, you may or may not need a college education. Many professional careers, such as doctors or attorneys, will require a formal education at a college or university. So the short answer is that college is not always necessary, it depends on the career path you've chosen. It's true that a college degree makes a better impression on a resume than without and will increase the chances of being chosen after an interview.

Bill Gates (Microsoft founder), Steve Jobs (Apple Computer founder), Peter Jennings (ABC Nightly News Anchor), did not have a college degree when they started their professions. They succeeded in their fields without a college degree.

To save money you might consider attending a 2-year community college (junior college) and determine a direction you want to pursue. Afterwards, you can transfer on to a college or university to complete your 4 year degree or decide you want to find a job.

Being successful does not mean you make a ton of money. It means you're working in a job you enjoy and you are earning enough to meet your needs with enough to save for the future. There are many people making a six or seven figure income who don't like their job and can't wait for retirement. That is not the sign of a successful career. Do what you enjoy and you'll become successful at what you do and easily make lots of money in the process. Don't chase the money, chase the career you enjoy and the money will follow.

It's easy to think that without a college degree you'll never be a success but that is not necessarily true. Excellence in a job developed by a career you enjoy will move you to be successful whether you go to college or not.

Frank recommends the following next steps:

Know what you enjoy and what career you want. Take a career test if necessary.
Research job sites to see what the requirements are for that job.
Research whether you need a college degree or not. Perhaps a 2 year degree, trade school may suffice.
Never stop learning even after obtaining a job.
If you decide not to pursue college at this time, find a position that meets your current skill levels, be the best you can be, learn all you can and you'll move up in the company or find another position later at another company that will use the skills you've learned at the previous company.
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Angela’s Answer

This is a great question! I would absolutely say 100% Yes. For me, I took so much away from my college experience outside of the academic education I received. I learned how to live on a budget, experiences of living with roommates that aren't your parents or siblings, how to manage my time effectively, explore my political affiliations, and also met so many people with diverse backgrounds. A degree is required for most business level positions. however, for some industries like computer science, a degree is not often a requirement but they will take work experience or self taught coding classes. Overall I think it depends on the industry you would like to get into professionally but the experiences you will have from college will teach you so much about yourself!
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Carol’s Answer

Ahnna;

That is a very good question. <span style="color: rgb(67, 58, 83); background-color: transparent;">There are many factors involved in this decision. </span>A lot depends on what you think you would like to do as a career. Most of the companies I have and continue to recruit for ask for a college degree. That being said I have also helped companies hire folks who do not have a degree if they have the right skills. A number of folks who are software programmers have learned how to code online. I think it is important to look at the things that you might like doing in a job and not doing. Go to some of the Career sites like CareerBuilder.com or Indeed or Monster and see the different types of jobs companies hire for. Read the responsibilities and required skills section to see if this would appeal and if a degree is required. Not every knows what they want to do when they graduate HS. My oldest son started college but didn't know what he wanted. So he dropped out and worked at different jobs until he could identify more of what his interests were. Not everyone can afford college. Note: There are different online programs to gain skills. Go online and ask this very question. Start here and then feel free to reach back out. Hope this helps.

Carol

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