It costs a lot to get an education
...but it usually costs more to not get one.
One result of the economic difficulties of the last few years has been that even college graduates — a high-earning and rarely-unemployed group — have struggled with a tough job market. With college costs rising, some wondered if college was still worth the sticker price. Most hard data suggests that the investment opens many economic doors. The ongoing national conversation continues, as people continue to weigh the costs and rewards of a college education. Maybe you're among the people having these thoughts.
As you're watching the mailbox for college acceptance letters, applying to scholarships, and generally taking the necessary steps toward enrolling in college next academic year, we'd like to remind you that it's worth it. Given that there's some chance you won't just blindly accept our view on this matter (and skepticism can be a good thing), allow us to point you towards recent stories reinforcing the point, one from The New York Times and one from The Atlantic.
The first of these stories focuses on how a college degree has become a prerequisite for careers that did not always require a B.A. For many college-educated employees, starting out in a support role, such as a file clerk, can lead to higher-level, better-paying professional jobs. That path, the author argues, is becoming
less available to those without college degrees.
And for those of you who like graphs, The Atlantic delivers. The unemployment rate for college graduates is currently below 4%, while it is more than twice as high for those without college degrees. As the author points out, the graphs in this article show clearly that college graduates "are more likely to have a job, more likely to earn a higher wage, and more likely to have the skills and experience that employers go to the labor market to buy."
The takeaway is that the investment you're making — in time, effort, and dollars — is still one of the best avenues to get a career started. Keep up the good work!