Is College Worth It? It Depends.

Conventional wisdom says you’ll get a better job if you have a college degree. Most people would tell you that even with the cost of college skyrocketing along with everything else nowadays. Is that true, or is it simply a story we tell ourselves to justify those hefty tuition bills?

Here are Five Fast Facts on whether college is worth it…or not:

  1. 💰 Minimum Requirement - Given the amount of debt most college grads have, they need to earn an average of at least $50k per year (after taxes) for the first decade of their professional careers in order to pay off their student debt. It’s great that so many start their career race 10 yards behind the blocks, isn’t it?
  1. 🤯 Just How Bad - Across the country, the median in-state college costs are about $8k, with room and board adding another $11k per year. At a private college, tuition is almost quadruple that at $30k! We’re a little afraid to find out how much the fru-fru food costs at those places!
  1. 🤷 Times Change - The Pew Research Center polled over 5,000 people, and more than half of them said a college degree was less important today than it was 20 years ago. Only a third of four-year college grads think their degrees were worth the cost. It doesn’t take a math major to see that’s awful.
  1. 👍 Just Do It - Some states have better job markets, so whether a college degree is “worth it” is definitely influenced by that. In Arizona, California, and New York, for example, about 80% of young professionals think their degree was worth getting.
  1. 📈 Earning Potential - Having a college degree still matters, at least according to salary numbers. The median salary last year for degree holders age 22-27 was around $60k. For people of the same age with only a high school diploma, the salary was around $36k. Cue the rush to go back to school…

🔥Bottom line: Something that should be rather obvious but needs to be said anyway: it depends what degree you get! Something obscure, like 3rd Century Basket Weaving is simply not going to get you a terribly lucrative job after college no matter how passionately you feel about it. On the other hand, healthcare, technology, law, or many others should be pretty durable in terms of bringing in a good income. If you want to get that basket weaving degree, go for it. Just get content with student loan debt for a long, long time. Or marry someone who got a real degree and can pay for you.

What do you think: is college worth it?

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