Your College Degree May Not Be As Valuable As You Think




The American dream has always been known as the pinnacle of success. For many college was a big part of the journey towards that dream. Professions such as Physicians, Accountants, and Lawyers are required to attend college in order to obtain the accreditation needed for employment. The best part is that these fields have salaries to match the work and or money required to get each degree.

Unfortunately the rising cost of higher education has diminished the value of many degrees available today. The cost of schooling and the pay associated with each diploma have gotten out of balance in recent years, making many young American’s reconsider the value of a college degree. To compound matters, recent college graduates have struggled to find employment in their field rendering the degree useless.

It is key to begin with the end in mind, which was popularized by Steven Covey, Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This “end” is the profession you hope to be employed in, down the road. There are various questions to consider while choosing this field of work. What is the maximum salary this profession will pay in your region? How much schooling is required to reach that goal? Do you have available funds to finance this endeavor? What is the job outlook for the profession you seek? Is it one that is growing or in decline?

For example a social worker in the state of New Jersey has an average salary of about $53,000 annually. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average cost of tuition at a four-year institution for the 2014-2015 school year was $21,728 or $86,912. This equates to a loan payment of $920.64 per month if you financed your education with 100% stafford loans, or $460.32 if you had a mix of 50% free grant money and 50% loans. Is a S53,000 per year salary enough to cover your regular expenses plus loan repayment? has different student loans calculators you can use to help calculate these figures.

Analyze the situation in this way. Will your new loan payment fit your budget after you take into account housing, transportation, food and clothing? If not you may need to consider different career options that are either more lucrative, in higher demand or less expensive to acquire.

Various experts believe student loans are the next economic bubble, be sure to do your due-diligence to avoid damage if this bubble one day becomes a reality.