It starts at a young age for most kids. “You have to go to college to be successful in life!” says your parents, teachers and, well, nearly every adult you come into contact with. But with skyrocketing costs of post-secondary education, a low employment rate for recent grads, and lots of employers focused on experience over education, college just doesn’t seem like the dream it once was.
Here’s a few reasons high-school grads may want to skip higher-learning and opt for a different path instead.
Reasons You May Not Want to Get a College Degree
1. Lack of On The Job Experience
The average student will spend 4 years getting an undergraduate degree; taking a full course-load and extracurricular activities leaves very little wiggle room for internships and on the job experience. Many students assume that going to college will inevitably land a high paying job in a cushy executive chair; but that is rarely the case. Internships and on the job experience are just as, if not more important than having a degree when you’re starting a career.
2. Degrees Won’t Pay for Every Profession
The average cost of tuition without room and board in 2010 was $14,993 for most public universities, with private universities coming in at $20,335. After a four year bachelors degree most students are paying anywhere between $59,972 and $81,340. These figures don’t even include the price of room and board.
Some students go into high amounts of debt for degrees that aren’t a good financial investment. An entry-level job for somebody with a social worker degree can range anywhere from $33,000 to $41,600. The payout for a social worker is hardly above that of someone who didn’t attend a four-year university at all. For example, becoming a loan officer only requires a high school degree and on the job training and the average annual salary is around $67,960.
So for those people who want to become a social worker, or join another profession with a low starting salary because you’d love the work, then great. But if you’re in it just for the money, you may want to consider other options.
3. The Recession (Lack of Jobs Available)
Recent years have been a tough time for college grads looking for work. In 2009 the recession caused roughly 3.6 million jobs to be lost. Survey research produced by the State University of New Jersey show that the recession is still making it tough for all college students to land their dream jobs.
According to the survey, after interviewing 444 recent college graduates only 3/4 of them reported having one full time job after graduation. The median earned salary by those surveyed was $28,000. The study also showed that only 51% of college graduates reported having a full time job, and 41% were working their first time jobs just to get by.
Financially it won’t make sense for lots of people to spend 4 years and tens of thousands of dollars, or more, on college, just to graduate without a job, or with a job that doesn’t require a degree.
4. “It’s Just Not My Thing”
College is not for everybody. With the right initiative and determination many successful people have dropped out of college and made it big. Now, this is not an excuse to live on your parents couch for the rest of your life, but there is something to be said about being passionate about your work and following your dream to do what you love, even if that means skipping out on higher education.
A Missouri University educational study shows entrepreneurship rose from 16 to 18 percent from 2007 to 2010.
Instead of going to school, what kind of business could you launch with 4 years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars to invest?
Statistics prove that some college graduates will earn more money throughout their career than their peers without a degree. But getting a college degree isn’t worth it for everyone; the field of study you choose, along with the school, and most important, the kind of work you want to do, can impact your financial future in a big way. It is more important to follow your dreams and do what’s right for you.
With the recession and the skyrocketing cost of college don’t be ashamed if you decide to hit the field instead of the books. Regardless of your decision, make sure to do your research before jumping into school or a career; to help guide you, check out the top three job trends for 2013 when you’re making a decision.
Photo by DonkeyHotey