In modern society, the college degree is most associated with gathering a skillset to earn money on the job market. There is no doubt that the cost of college weighs heavily on students and their families. Students often take on debt to go to college and many are struggling to pay their debts along with the other costs of life. This begs the question, is college worth it?
Knowledge is power if you use it and there is no doubt you can get knowledge at a university. However, attaining a college degree has been glamorized to such a high degree that we often don’t think about the full cost to attend a university. It’s often taken for granted that you have to take on tens of thousands of dollars of debt to qualify for a good-paying job. With the skyrocketing cost of college, paying for an education has become increasingly difficult. Many students take on high amounts of student loan debt to cover the cost. Some student loan debt is guaranteed by the federal government, meaning there is less downward pressure on the cost since the money is guaranteed by the taxpayer. Add to that the cost of inflation, and you have a recipe for a debt crisis.
There is demand for good-paying jobs that do not require a four year degree. Since these jobs have not been emphasized the way college has, they don’t get much consideration. For example, you can become a plumber and make roughly $60,000 a year without a four year degree. There are people with degrees that are in worse financial shape than those in the skilled trades due to the cost of attending college. The average cost for a bachelor's degree is $127,000 compared to the $33,000 average cost of being certified in the skilled trades. It would more than suffice to say the skilled trades have been slept on in this society.
So is college actually worth it? Well that depends on what you choose to study and how much it costs. The cost of college should be looked at like making an investment. In order for it to be worth it, you need a good return compared to what you paid. Don’t get a six figure education for a job that does not compensate you enough to live in financial peace. If the field you are entering is so costly that you cannot pay for it and comfortably meet your needs, then the school you chose is too expensive or the job does not pay enough.
We have done a disservice to students by influencing them to get a degree at basically any cost. College is not for everyone and even those who can benefit from it should have a plan of how to pay for it that does not harm them long term. Believe it or not, it is possible to go to college without racking up debt. It just takes a solid plan and dedication.
If you need a money coach to help you build a plan to afford a college degree or certification in the skilled trades, don’t hesitate to contact us.