Is it still worth investing on higher education?

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By: ruthgibson
on 12th Jul,2013

Education has always been the most important thing for middle class households.
Is it still worth investing on higher education?


Education has always been the most important thing for middle class households. Questioning the value of college education seems like questioning the value of happiness for some of you. If you are of the thoughts of joining the educated ranks, you’re not alone. A question that is tickling the minds of most is “Is college worth it?”. There is a valid reason why people ask this question, that is, the tuition fees levels have gone up, but at the same time, the labor market is still weak.


Higher education fees have risen generally and private college fees have risen 70 % over the last ten years, which is double the rate of inflation. Public college tuition and other fees have more than doubled in ten years.


Students pursue higher education and acquire academic qualification to earn a financially better livelihood. They get education loan to cover the high fees of the college. There is a level of improvement on the figures showing employment opportunities. The U.S. economy created 175,000 jobs during May 2013, and the unemployment rate increased slightly to 7.6%, but these statistics can be misleading. Most of the job openings created by the government hardly deliver a basic living wage. The question here arises that how are they going to repay their education loans.


While you take admission to the college, it’s almost inevitable to take education loan. Another option is scholarship, but then you’ve to be super intelligent and a genius, and that’s not a common trait. The amount you are going to pay as your fees depends upon your course, duration and type of the course you opt for. For a four year public college, the in-state tuition fees for full time students can be anything from $7,000 to $10,00, excluding the cost of books and other related costs. Few young people just don’t take it as a good investment. They would better use this money for erudition, getting certificates for specialized courses, or even starting their own business.


You can take into consideration the example of eminent and successful personalities like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, who didn’t earn a college degree but did excellent in their lives. You can’t ignore the fact that they were extremely gifted. There is no proof that even a college degree holder has attained 100% success rate. There is a lack of people in skilled trades these days such as welding, carpentry, etc. These trades, no doubt, can earn a stable livelihood. Many college graduates are unemployed or earn less than these skilled laborers. It’s become common in American’s ideology that you become successful only after attending college. Hence, there is an overflow of graduates. This is actually disturbing the balance between employment opportunities created and the number of graduates.


In a country scarce of jobs, you will do anything that can earn you a living and make you “employed”. You are surely not going to take chances in this case. The statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor says that getting a college degree is one step you can take to become more employable. According to the Department of Labor study in 2011, it was found out that the average unemployment rate for workers, 25 years old and up, with only a high school degree was 9.4 percent. For those with an associate's degree, it was 6.8 percent, and for bachelor's degree holders, it was 4.9 percent. There are traits like team work, leadership qualities that you can learn while you’re in college and you can also experience of working with deadlines. These skills help you to get a job or even grow in a company. Also, most of the jobs require a graduation certificate or bachelor’s degree.


Basically, you need to plan investments over a long term horizon. However, it’s totally a personal decision depending on your key skills, interests and obviously your financial condition. An education can’t be repossessed, of course, but neither can the debt that financed it be shed. The facts which are leading to a condition where you’ve to choose between the trust on education system or notice the changes world economy is bringing and decide upon a certificate course, is totally ambiguous. Higher education, till then, will be a risky endeavor to invest upon.

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