The pros and cons of a college degree

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Times are changing, and today’s high school graduates are faced with the increasingly difficult decision of whether or not to attend college. The cost of an undergraduate degree is on the rise, yet many college graduates find it challenging to find a position in their chosen field. To further complicate matters, if they do find an opportunity to use their degree, the starting salary often leaves a lot to be desired.

The Pros

Money may not buy happiness, but studies do show that if you earn a college degree, you will enjoy a higher standard of living that contributes to better health and happiness in comparison to your peers who chose to forgo a college education.

Despite today’s challenges you face obtaining and successfully applying your college education, statistics show that millennials are faring better economically than the generations who have gone before them.

For example, a Pew Research study showed college graduates had over 8% less unemployment than those without one. Furthermore, if you choose to attend college, you are more likely to live on your own sooner than if you only earn a high school diploma. Leaving your parents’ basement behind is definitely a stress reducer and a confidence booster.

Attending college also affords you the opportunity to make important connections that can come in quite handy in finding a good job after graduation. Many colleges also partner with companies offering internship programs.

The Cons

Student loan debt in the United States has increased from billions to trillions in recent years. The rising costs of attending college can leave you with student loan debt that takes years to pay off. This debt can hold you back from buying your first home, upgrading to a better car, or getting married as soon as you are established in your career.

Higher education doesn’t always lead to higher intellect. Studies have shown that nearly half of college graduates do not improve skills such as reasoning, critical thinking, or writing skills.

If you want to start building a career as soon as possible, the time spent in college could hold you back.  In order to concentrate on your studies, you may not be able to work more than part-time hours. Many students do not work at all.

Other Alternatives

Many people have chosen to pursue establishing a home-based business without going to college. Often times you can end up earning considerably more money than if you pursued a college degree. Some of these businesses include freelance writing, online sales, Uber driving, medical transcription/billing, or in-home daycare, to name just a few.

If you establish a business doing something you really enjoy, you can also make time for other pursuits you enjoy just as much. Home-based businesses can offer you much more flexibility than the traditional 9 to 5. You also don’t have a boss to answer to, which is definitely a bonus.

Want to do it all? Consider an online college education. Studying remotely from home gives you the freedom to become an entrepreneur while benefiting from attaining a degree that can help you to grow your business.

Many online schools offer a quality education with dedicated professors who are invested in helping you achieve your goals. In fact, more and more established brick and mortar schools are offering the online option.

Before making your decision, however, take the time to ask yourself some questions to determine what your dream career is. You may have many interests; determine which of those interests are something you want to pursue well into the future.

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