Pros and Cons of seeking a college degree 

College is an investment that takes a lot of time and money. It’s not uncommon for people to question whether or not it will be worth the price in the end. The reality is that there are many benefits to completing college, but it all depends on your situation. This article discusses some of the pros and cons of attending college so you can decide if it’s something you should pursue!

Advantages of a college diploma:

  • Higher lifetime earnings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a bachelor’s degree earn about $20,000 more per year than someone who only has a high school diploma. This makes sense because  employers are generally willing to pay for your education if you can make them money through the knowledge gained in school in return. The BLS also reports that there is less unemployment among college graduates as opposed to just holding a high school diploma.
  • Paying student loans back is easier when you have an income coming in from working full time or even better once you land that dream job post graduation. Most student loan programs are paid back at a very reasonable rate, some of which are even available at a zero interest rate.  This makes them very easy to pay back and can be done so even while living within a budget.
  • There is no need for students to worry about the job market once they graduate as there are currently seven open jobs per person looking for work in many fields of study. This means that graduating from college puts you at a distinct advantage above other job seekers in the current market.

Cons of seeking a college degree:

  • The cost of college has been increasing at a much higher rate than the overall inflation rate. This means that students need to consider whether or not they will be able to pay back their loans after graduation as well as if there is enough money for them to live on while attending school and paying rent, food, etc.
  • Many lucrative careers don’t require a college degree. There are several professions such as auto mechanics and hair stylists where it is now possible to complete an apprenticeship rather than going through four years of education before starting work in these fields.
  • Finding a job as a college graduate may be even harder than without a degree. Because the unemployment rate is so high, it is very possible to obtain a job that is high paying and  does not require a college degree. Employers are interested in candidates who are eager to learn and grow with a business, as opposed to someone who will take a job but is actively searching for a better opportunity.
  • The average college graduate is now $30,000 in debt and because of this it takes a lot longer to save up for big purchases such as homes. As the housing market continues to soar, it is becoming clear to many young and even middle aged people that their dream of owning a home could be completely out of reach. By forgoing  the earning potential missed during the years it takes to acquire a college degree, by avoiding student loan debt, and by saving some of the earnings available to hard working individuals now, it is entirely possible to achieve the American dream of owning a home.

There are certainly many advantages and disadvantages to continuing education past high school. Deciding on a definitive path for your life can be daunting, and figuring out how much education to seek is one of the most important decisions you can make. Along with considering these points, it is a good idea to talk with those around you and really consider the direction you would be most happy pursuing moving forward. In addition to this article, there are many resources to help you determine whether university is the right decision to fulfill your life plans.