Unfortunately, the cost of a college education is quickly getting away from the benefits it garners. This is not to say that college is now something that should be avoided; far from it. The experiences and the level of learning gained during college are very important and valuable. But the rising cost of education is leading to more students to be unable to finish their entire college run, and those that do, enter into a world wanting job experience as well as an education.
Students graduating from college, especially four-year colleges, find themselves in an interesting and often compromising position, especially if they entered college right after high school. They have their degree in hand, the degree that opens up a huge number of jobs that require having a Bachelor’s degree to even be considered for, but they have little to no job experience. Then when they begin looking into the job market, many jobs want a degree and a year or more experience within the field. This keeps the jobs that just became available through college education at arms length and unavailable to the recently graduated. The only way to remedy this, it seems, is to gain experience through unpaid internships while in college. However, as the costs of education continue to rise, more and more students find themselves needing to work full or part time while in school just to supplement the student loans that make it possible for many to attend college. This creates a time issue, if nothing else, when it comes to looking into unpaid internships.
So now a recent graduate finds himself without a decent job that was supposed to be available after graduating, or at least very stiff competition for the jobs in his field (or even jobs that have nothing to do with what he or she went to college for), and within six months, student loan payments start coming in. Since college has become so expensive, fewer and fewer families have the capabilities to send a child (or multiple children) to college without resorting to some form of student loans. And even if they scrimp and save, figure everything down to the last dollar and decide, “Yes, we can afford this,” the cost of education at any given college is going to go up in the coming years (with some increases as high as two thousand dollars from one year to the next).
To make the situation worse, more and more jobs are looking for individuals who took their education one step further and have a Master’s degree. So the value of a Bachelor’s degree is diminishing as more and more people are expected to have one.
The cost of education keeps rising, but the jobs available to those with a newly awarded degree aren’t increasing in number or monetary reward to balance out the cost of education, especially since nearly everyone is now expected to go to college. Is a college education important? Most definitely. Is it a shame that it’s so hard for many bright young adults to get one? Yes. The answer to this problem isn’t to ignore college, but to find a way to make it more affordable. If the costs of education were to come back down and the job market was willing to take more chances with educated but untested individuals, the cost of education would quickly become extremely effective.