College degrees are getting more and more expensive all the time. Today, taking out a college degree essentially means setting yourself up to be in debt for the next several decades of your life.
The hope though is that this is an investment. Sure, you’ll be paying back the loan for years to come but in theory you should also be able to demand a much higher salary meaning that you’ll earn more than you spent in the long run.
That is the theory but the question is – is it still the reality?
First let’s look at the argument against a degree. The problem is that taking a degree is no longer particularly rare or unusual. In fact, it’s not uncommon at all for most people in their 20s to have some kind of degree under their belt.
One way you can differentiate yourself then is to try taking a masters degree or other postgraduate education. In that case though, you’ll potentially risk making yourself appear to be someone who is just trying to ‘avoid’ the world of work and who maybe isn’t cut out for it. It sounds harsh but some employers indeed look at people who spend a long time in education that way!
And either way, you will face the problem with having no experience. When you start looking for work, you’ll find that your piece of paper alone isn’t always enough to convince potential employers that you’re a viable candidate. They want to see proof that you can do the job and they want to know that you’ve actually experienced being in the world of work.
Meanwhile, someone who went straight into work will have been working their way up for the last 3 years and will have plenty of experience – not to mention savings!
And who’s to say that finding an employer is even necessary these days? More and more people are now choosing to strike out on their own, which is possible thanks to the internet. Perhaps the best way to land a high paying job quickly is just to invent that job by creating your own small business or setting up some kind of freelance service online. In which case, the degree won’t have come in particularly useful.
The Plus Side
That’s one side of the argument. But on the other hand, you could point to the simple fact that graduates do earn considerably more when you look at the statistics. You can’t argue with the numbers and indeed it’s true that you earn more early on in your career if you have the right qualification.
Meanwhile, it’s also worth noting how a degree can help you to excel even once you’ve found your position. Even if you work for yourself, you should have picked up skills that will help you to do your job better.
And you’ll still find that your degree has value – whether you’re speaking with a prospective client, or even with your future parents in law!
Apart from all this, a college degree is just a fantastic experience both in terms of the education and the friends you make. It’s up to you to decide how important the option to defer becoming an adult is to you…