Is College Worth It?

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 30 September 2016

Is College Worth It?

I think we all can agree that getting an education is a vital process that is crucial for being successful in our society, but does getting a college education guarantee one’s success? I know, with the cost of a college degree rising 1,120% within the past 30 years, many of us do not want to wait and find out ourselves. Although getting a college education may not guarantee one’s success in the job market, one thing that comes with a college education is almost certain; thousands of dollars in debt.

2 out of every 5 loan borrowers are delinquent at some point within the first 5 years of repayment according to the Institute for Higher Education Policy. This shows that almost 50% of people who take out loans are having some sort of trouble repaying it. With an accumulative amount of 1. 2 trillion dollars in debt that students get themselves into a year, I am not surprised. This brings up the question: Is College worth it? A College education is an investment all on its own, but will your investment pay off?

“The question is whether or not you will get your return on the investment in actual financial capital or human capital or emotional capital or social capital”, according to Professor Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University (Coleman Korva). Getting a college education does not guarantee you any financial success by any means. In the 2011-12 academic year, the average net cost for a full-time student at an in-state public university was about $15,000 for tuition, fees, room, board, books and incidental expenses, according to the College Board (Clark Kim), and an out of state college is nearly three time that amount.

At the same time, only 27 percent of college grads have a job related to their major right out of college (Plumer Brad). Even though only 27 percent of college grads got a job related to their major right out of college, 62 percent of U. S. college graduates had a job that required a college degree right out of college (Plumer Brad). That is a better number, but there is still 38 percent that either doesn’t have a job, or has a job that doesn’t require a degree. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to end up flipping burgers when I’m done with college.

Part of making College a worthwhile investment is picking the right major. The right major can lead to a whole lot of available jobs. I know that we all have different dreams and want to pursue them, but we got to face the facts; some majors aren’t doing so hot right now in the job market. Based on high initial unemployment rates and low initial median earnings of full-time, full-year workers, artistic majors are horrible right now. Recent college graduates of from ages 22 to 26 can expect an unemployment rate of 10.

5 percent, well above the national average (Goudreau Jenna). Those who do manage to snag a job are met with only a median salary of just $28,000. Due to a high unemployment rate and low median salary, most art majors will not be getting much in return for attending college. That is just one of many majors that aren’t doing well too. Other majors that aren’t worth the investment include Sociology, Psychology and Nutrition. Engineering on the other hand is one hot ticket right now in the job market. The top major for achieving a high salary is engineering (Still Daniel).

Out of all the engineering majors, petroleum engineering tops out with a salary of $90,000 right out of college. Aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering are not too far behind either. Engineering in General seems to be the way to go if you want your investment to pay off. Other worthwhile majors include Computers, Mathematics, and Pharmaceutical sciences. These majors are what makes going to college a worthwhile investment. The current job market is looking for jobs relating to these majors. Even though a job isn’t guaranteed after college, it would still be a good investment.

Now we all know that college is a good investment if you make it be, but is there really a difference between someone who has a college education and someone who has a high school education or lower? “It’s a tough job market for college graduates, but far worse for those without a college education,” says Anthony P. Carnevale co-author of the study conducted at Georgetown University’s Center of Education and the Work Force. During the Great Recession in 2007, Millions of jobs vanished from the job market, but students with bachelors degrees who had jobs did not decline (International Business, Times).

At the same time, the 55 percent of high school graduates who did have jobs even before the recession, fell to 47 percent after it (Perez-Pena Richard). As if people without a college education didn’t have it hard enough already. Now the amount of jobs that require a college education is on the rise, while people without a college education are being left in the dust. On average, people with a college education make much more than someone with a high school diploma too. The average income of a high school graduate is around $28,700. Compared to the average income of someone with a bachelor’s degree being $53,800.

In a lifetime, someone with a high school education, on average, would accumulate $940,000 dollars of income while someone with a bachelor’s degree makes almost twice that amount at $1. 8 million dollars. This is because employers generally think that people with a college education are smarter than one with a high school education. Making the ones with a college education more prone to learning new skills a job requires. This is why you see a lot of high school graduates and people who never went to any school working at fast food restaurants.

The job market is a really important factor when considering if college is worth it, but one has to consider the amount of debt one will accumulate afterwards. With nearly 20 million Americans attending college each year, (Chronicle of Higher Education) two-thirds of them end up graduating with some sort of debt (Denhart Chris). How much debt you may ask? The amount of debt that college students have accumulated by the time they graduate exceeds the 1. 2 trillion dollar mark (Denhart Chris). This makes student loans the second highest form of consumer debt, behind mortgage loans.

This can really discourage someone from going to college. It can especially discourage someone from going back to college after dropping out because, most likely, the individual would be in some sort of debt already. Also, one does not want to go to college just to be in debt afterwards with no steady source of income. Attending college is becoming more and more vital with each passing year. A lot more jobs are beginning to look for more people with a college education. The question one needs to ask themselves though would be, “Is College worth it?

” Without a doubt college is expensive. The majority of college graduates end up going into some sort of debt when they graduate. It is up to the student that is attending college though to determine if it is worth it for them or not. They need to ask themselves, “Will I be making my money back. ” It is up to them to choose a major that is doing really well in the current job market. I know we all have different interests and goals, but if one wants a higher chance of being successful they would choose a major that is doing well.

They also need to consider the fact that it is getting harder and harder to get a good job that doesn’t require a college education. People with a college education generally make much more too. I’m sure nobody wants to be working at their local McDonalds after they spent so much money going to four years of college. So invest in college, pick a good major, and get a good education because soon a college education will be in high demand and you will be on the top of the list. Work Cited Clark, Kim. “How Much Does College Actually Cost? ” CNNMoney.

Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2013. Features, Forbes Special. “How The $1. 2 Trillion College Debt Crisis Is Crippling Students, Parents And The Economy. ” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 07 Aug. 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. Goudreau, Jenna. “The 10 Worst College Majors. ” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 11 Oct. 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2013. International Business, Times. “6 Charts On Why College Is Worth Its Cost. ” International Business Times 17 Aug. 2012: Regional Business News. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. Kittle, Cameron. “Degrees of debt: UNH grad says college degree was worth it, but debt burden looms large.

” Telegraph, The (Nashua, NH) 14 Aug. 2012: Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. KORVA, COLEMAN. “Is A College Education Worth The Debt?. ” Tell Me More (NPR) (n. d. ): Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. PEREZ-PENA, RICHARD. “Benefits of College Degree in Recession Are Outlined. ” NY Times. N. p. , 9 Jan. 2013. Web. Plumer, Brad. “Only 27 Percent of College Grads Have a Job Related to Their Major. ” WonkBlog. N. p. , n. d. Web. Weissman, Jordan. “How Bad Is the Job Market For College Grads? Your Definitive Guide. ” The Atlantic. N. p. , 4 Apr. 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 30 September 2016

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