Most of the time, a college education is the minimum level of schooling expected by employers, even for low paying jobs. It seems everyone needs a degree even if they are going to answer phones or sell cars. It’s hard to come up with a position that doesn’t require some kind of post high school education, but that’s the key.
College degrees can be useless if your degree is too general or too obscure and doesn’t help you get into the job market. On the other hand, technical degrees and certificates can help you get employed quickly and draw a good salary.
The average salary for a plumber in the U.S. is almost $70,000 – much higher than the administrative assistant with a degree in philosophy who ends up making $50,000 if he or she is lucky. Let’s not forget too, the plumber, electrician, hairstylist or personal trainer usually go to school, but for less years, and work while they are educating themselves. They usually haven’t had to take out the loans or borrow the huge sums of money it takes to get through four years of college.
“The cost of attending UConn (The University of Connecticut) for an in-state residential undergraduate is $18,638 annually for tuition, fees, room and board,” reported in an article in the Uconn News released on February 2, 2009.
That’s almost $75,000 for a degree, (providing tuition doesn’t go up) and of course this number doesn’t include books and supplies, transportation to and from school and a ton of other expenditures that go along with acquiring a college degree.
Let’s say this person got a degree in psychology. That would make this person one of thousands of new graduates with degrees in psychology. Post grad work would be necessary to get a job in that field and most likely this person would end up taking a job as someone’s assistant and either go back to school or rethink his or her career path.
Then there’s those sad situations that make you want to cry. The parents have super high expectations for little Johnny and insist he goes to college even though Johnny can barely read, has no interest in higher education, would feel stupid in a college situation and could perhaps be one of the best car mechanics in the state if he could attend car mechanic classes. This type of college student is often wasting their parents’ money and their own time.
Not everyone is cut out for the academic world and this is not a bad thing. We need all kinds of people to keep our community running, everything from the newspaper delivery person to the drugstore cashier to the garbage collector. There is dignity in all work, not working because one thinks they deserve a higher position than their education or abilities dictate is what’s undignified.
Certainly in most cases, a college degree helps you get a better job and make more money, but not always. Sometimes while you’re taking out loans for four years to get your education, someone else is working those four years, socking away the money, maybe using that money to buy a house that doubles its price in four years.
You end up with an entry level position, no hope of buying a house for years as you have huge loans to pay off. By the time you’re ready for the housing market, prices have become so high you are lucky to buy that first guy’s starter home and he’s living in the 4-bedroom, 3-car garage colonial with the built-in pool.