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Will College be Worth the Money in the Future?

First, let me start by saying that education is important. I am a fan of learning and self-development. One of the things that I’ve noticed over the past few years is the cost of education rising and the number of students graduating and getting jobs that relate to their field of study declining. I am not saying that the number of students graduating is declining, I am specifying that those who do graduate, often do not get a job that is related to what they studied in college. There are a few people that I know that went to school and got a degree in business and are now working as cashiers and store merchandise stockers. Why? They didn’t get a job offer after they graduated and they ended up having to go back home to live with their parents. Now that they are home with their parents, they must help their parents pay some of the bills. To do this they rush to find any job they can so that they can assist their parents and try to save money. Note that this happens in some households and not all, but it is a story that I’ve heard many times before.

I believe that pursuing education should be a family decision and planned out strategically. Going to college should not be forced on the student and then left stranded for them to figure out. The main thing that students are left stranded with are student loans. I’ve listened to many students at some of the local universities tell me their experience dealing with student loans. Their families advise them to take out student loans to pay for their education and do not help them pay for the loans once they graduate. The cost of education is going up and so the student loan debt is prone to rise as well. Now this is not to say that the student is not capable of making their own financial decision. They are an adult after all; however, at the age and stage of life that most students enter into college, which is soon after graduating high school, many are ill prepared to make such an important and life altering decision. After all, high school does not do the best job of preparing students for adulthood financially. If the parent/s don’t take on this task of financial education, or perhaps don’t have the financial knowledge themselves…well, the student is basically on their own.

Most students that were able to land a job after graduating are now having to work and pay back the $35,000-$200,000 or more they owe on their student loans. The emotional and mental weight of the payments and the accumulating interest along with not understanding the fine print on the loan agreements they signed are difficult to bear. So my question is, will college be worth it, for the money that is spent now, in the future? I would say yes to some but no to others as well. 

The reason I would say yes to some is that there are some jobs besides doctor, lawyer, anesthesiologist, physical therapist, psychiatrist, etc., that require a diverse track and will require state and local licenses or certifications to practice. These types of jobs usually pay a fair income. However if you are going to school simply for a general degree, like Sociology, Business, or English, I would suggest ensuring that that is what you want to do personally…Now notice I said just general degree and not business administration, risk management, or another specialty that carries a little more value. The more general your degree is, chances are you will either have to seek further education, like, a Master’s Degree or higher, or you will have to settle for lower entry level pay. 

I was watching a video of a billionaire. The billionaire was talking to an auditorium full of college students. The billionaire was asked “Is college worth it?” The billionaire wasted no time and said “No, college is not worth it. College teaches you to sit behind a desk and take instruction from someone. The same books that you are reading in your schools are the same books available for free in your local libraries.” 

When he said that, I remembered a time I went to the bookstore when I was on campus years ago. I went to get a book I needed and the book wasn’t available, so the woman at the bookstore counter told me to check the library down the road because they could have it instead. So, I went to the library down the road and low and behold there the book was. Yes, the book was used but the book was available. While I was at the library, I checked on something else. Oftentimes, the authors and editors that write the chapters in our textbooks have other books they have written as well. I saw some names that were in the textbook I needed and went around the library to see if any of the authors/editors had other texts I could reference. I didn’t find a lot but there were some books in the library that the authors of the textbook I initially looked for wrote. I reserved these books as well in hopes to expand my knowledge on the various subjects I would learn in class.

The billionaire shared that the information is out there for us to learn. That statement for most of us is true. So, if you are planning on receiving a higher education, please make sure you do the research on job growth potential and what your dream job requires of you before you sign off on your student loans. Consider if you will be able to afford the monthly payments once you graduate. Sit down with a financial counselor, academic advisor, and career planning professional and plan out your educational and career path. I still believe that education and learning are essential and I am a huge advocate of personal development. We are moving toward a new era for information and education and colleges for the most part are raising tuition, so plan accordingly. 

I am in the process of finishing my degree, but my plan is to use my degree to assist on my journey to becoming a full-time entrepreneur. I am not advising anyone to follow what I am doing. We all have to do what’s best for us and our families. Colleges are becoming a financial burden for most. I hope that we can figure out a better way to get the education that we need and not have to follow the traditional route that often leads to piles of debt. Also, there is a possibility that the student loan companies are going to transition to bank based lending, which may forfeit loan forgiveness opportunities in the future. What are we doing now to make sure that we have financial leverage for our future? 

Thanks for reading my blog post “Will college be worth the money in the future?” I hope that this blog will encourage students to read the fine print of student loan contracts and to create a plan that can help put them in the best position to reach their educational and career goals and not have to bear the burden of financial stress. Learn about the experiences other people have had. Some of the people who told/tell you to go to college, most of the time, won't help you pay for the student loan payments that equate to a BMW loan or house mortgage payment. If you like this post please comment, share, and subscribe. Also follow me on social media! 

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