Will the Cost of a Higher Education Pay Off?

Going to college has become as instinctual in our society as getting a high school education. For many, it seems like the obvious and necessary next life step.

However, while the amount of college graduates has significantly reason, so has the cost of tuition. Unfortunately, that tuition cost can equate to years of your life dedicated to paying that massive debt off. The thousands of dollars many students enter the job market with begs us to ask the question, is it all worth it?

Here are a few things to consider before you make the investment of a higher education.

It Depends on the Job

Sometimes the necessity of a college degree can depend upon what you’re hoping to do in life. If you want to become a doctor, lawyer or teacher, school is an absolute must.

On the other hand, however, there are lots of decent-paying jobs that might only require a two-year degree. Even then, there are still others, like creative or skilled professions, where real-world experience would serve you better than a degree. Figure out what you want your career path to look like and then decide if a degree is necessary.

There’s Still a Wage Gap

Although not every job requires a college education, there still exists a substantial wage gap between those who earned a college degree and those who didn’t. Studies all-across the board have found that those who are college educated usually earn $1 million more than those who only have a high school diploma.

Moreover, people who earn beyond a bachelor’s degree, which often leads to higher-paying positions such as doctors and lawyers, often earn much more than that in the long run.

Consider the Experiences

Considering the cost isn’t the only way to look at the value of higher education. The college experience itself can be worth the money.

College can often times stand to broaden your horizons and keep you open-minded. You’re often surrounded by people from vastly different backgrounds and experiences in the classroom, which can open you up to new ideas you might otherwise have missed out on. College is so much more than a ticket to a job and can often teach you skills beyond your major.

On the other hand, one could make the argument for the impact of real life experiences as well and the value jumping into the job market could provide.

Weigh the Costs

Another aspect to consider before entering the classroom is the actual cost. Take the time to calculate how much debt you have the potential to accrue from start to finish. Then, figure out what the average salary might be for the job you’re hoping to land. Next, calculate how much of your monthly salary you’ll have to pay per month to pay off your debt. Weight the costs with your after-graduation income to see how you’ll go about paying it off before you take on the debt.

College can be a rewarding and valuable experience if that’s the path you choose to follow. Nonetheless, with the rising cost and potential debt, it’s important to weigh all the benefits to ensure that it’s the right decision for you.

Did you feel as though the cost of college was worth it for your degree? Would you have been successful without a higher education?

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