Education as a whole plays an imperative role in the well being and integral development of the modern individual. Whether it is an associate or a bachelor’s degree, pursuing higher-level education regardless of its cost will always result in a positive professional outcome.
College education in our century has become a necessity to achieve the bare necessities of a starter job in any professional field whatsoever. Which goes without even mentioning the rise of young adults with post-undergraduate education, meaning that in a near-future college will no longer be a sufficient level of education for a skilled or professional career due to the increasing competitiveness of current job applicants.
On the other side of the spectrum, lacking a college education greatly limits a person’s ability to pursue employment beyond semi-skilled careers, usually resulting in a lower-middle-class income and lifestyle.
Among the biggest topics to consider inside the debate of whether college is worth the economic investment or not, lies the never-ending amount of graduates with outstanding student debt and the increasing rates of undergraduate tuition, both highly linked to one another.
However, one cannot make the argument that the tuition of a college education defies the purpose of going to school in the first place, as its those four years that really constitute the basis of a moderate to high job income later on in life.
“Data from U.S. workers show that the benefits of college in terms of higher earnings far outweigh the costs of a degree, measured as tuition plus wages lost while attending school. The average college graduate paying annual tuition of about $20,000 can recoup the costs of schooling by age 40”. (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
So in purely financial terms, paying for a college education is, in fact, worth it, as it prepares students for employment in skilled work areas that grant good salaries, as well as post-graduate education necessary for many professional jobs.
“The pay gap between college graduates and everyone else reached a record high last year, according to the new data, which is based on an analysis of Labor Department statistics by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington”. (The New York Times)
Apart from promising salaries inside widely respected fields of work, college education connects young students to an in-depth exploration of a myriad of subjects. These years have proven to increase the maturity of young adults, resulting in increased civic engagement following the years after graduation.
“And let us not forget about the non-monetary returns, such as better working conditions, lower rates of disability, and increased civic engagement”. (PayScale)
Additionally, a household with higher education is more likely to have access to better quality lifestyles than those who lack higher education.
Compare the lifestyles of families mostly comprising high school dropouts, to that of college graduates for an instance, it is evident there is a huge financial difference that in most cases, tends to repeat itself in some sort of loop or never-ending cycle.
We need to come to terms with the idea that college is now a crucial step in the development of prolific adults, especially now in this new decade, because it builds the potential necessary for decent jobs and most importantly, sets the norm for a financially stable and well-educated society.
Leonhardt, David. “Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 May 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/27/upshot/is-college-worth-it-clearly-new-data-say.html.
Long, Terry, et al. “Is College Worth It? Yes, But Not Always.” PayScale, 30 Apr. 2018, https://www.payscale.com/career-news/2016/11/college-is-worth-it.
“Is It Still Worth Going to College?” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 5 May 2014,https://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-letter/2014/may/is-college-worth-it-education-tuition-wages/.