Every spring, some high school seniors and their parents are anxious about college admission decision letter. Those students want to know where they will be for college. The other high school students aren’t going to college. They are trying to find jobs. People make different decisions, but is a college education a good investment? As we can see, many people are trying to get in college, and their salaries are more than who didn’t go to college. The returns from having a college education are worth the time and money investments.
There are many benefits if one decides not to get a college degree. You can get a job to make money. Jobs can give you professional networking opportunities and working experience, and an early exposure to skills you need to survive in a competitive market. With the money you make, you have more monetary resources to enjoy life. If one decides to go to college, there are a lot of sacrifices.
You not only need to pay for college-related fees and spend years completing your college education but also miss job opportunities and the monetary rewards from working.
On average, a high school graduate’s annual salary is $33,000. Assume your college education takes 4 years to complete with the tuition of $12,000/year, there is a balance of $45,000 difference per year, which totals to a $180,000 during your college education years! Of course, there are plenty of benefits by not going college. However, obtaining a college education opens many doors of opportunities for you.
Generally, a job with higher pay requires a college degree.
On average, a person with a college degree has the starting salary of $46,000. That is $13,000 more than a high school graduate every year. Going through college helps you gain knowledge. This knowledge can help you prepare for future work. For example, if you are a pharmacist, you need to know whether adding chemicals to new medicines will affect the human body. If you didn’t know the subject, biology or chemistry, it’s hard for you o become a pharmacist. Lectures from professors are precious and irreplaceable.
Schools can also provide you networking opportunities with people of similar educational background and interests. People in the networking discuss knowledge and share interests together. Everyone is the same and you can learn maximum knowledge that you are interested in. People have a hard time asking question if there are strangers in groups. The networking opportunities is effectively learning tool and save your time in the future. Having a college degree gives you a higher social status and general public respect.
A degree shows how smart you are and there are a lot of people who don’t have the degree as yours. You are unique and everyone will know how smart you are. Companies would rather pay more to unique people than normal people. Having a college degree can increase you self-respect by a sense of self-accomplishment and achievement. In addition, if you find great interest in the subject of your study, you may advance to the next level and pursue a post-college degree and become an expert in the area of your interest.
Although not going to college seems to be good, if you make detailed comparisons, it becomes clear that a college education is much better in many ways. For example, the knowledge you learn during college education can put you in a better starting position that may take a high school graduate 10 years to reach. Even though you miss the earning during college years, the marginal $13,000/year will bring you to even in 16 years, and assume you work for 40 years, you will end up with $312,000 ($13,000* 24 years) more than a high school graduate after working for 40 years.
In addition, many benefits that come with not going to college, such as professional networking and working experience are available to college graduates as well after they finish their college education. Overall, having a college education will give you more opportunities, better prepare you for future challenges, put you in a better starting place, give you a better social status, and enhances self-respect. All these benefits are well worth of four years of effort and time. No sweet without sweat!