College Degrees…Worth The Money?


NWF State College Graduation

NWF State College Graduation (Photo credit: Sean M. Flynn)

(by Rob Writer)

We all heard it for decades. Go get a college degree if you want to make a better living. And, for a long time, that was the undisputed truth…

However, enter the “Great Recession.” All of a sudden, things have changed, at least for the meantime.

New information is out which suggests that college grads are perhaps “over qualified” for many opportunities which are available in the current job markets.

Meagan Pant of the “Denver Post” reports that a significant number of college graduates find themselves in jobs making lower wages and don’t even require a high school diploma!

What’s more, when graduates tack on the rising higher costs of a college education, it becomes even harder to justify going to college at all!

“The economy may be in recovery officially, but there are a lot of people who haven’t recovered yet” says Jonathan Robe. He is one of three researchers involved in a report “Why Are College Graduates Underemployed?” Robe further adds “The problem is sticking around.”

In her article, Pant states that some 48 percent of college alumni, not just recent college grads, were underemployed as of 2010. In a report from the Center for College Affordability and Productive, there were five million college graduates employed in jobs which required less than a high school education.

These facts seem to be even further validated by another post on “cnn.com.” Jon Marcus of the Hechinger Institute @CNNMoney tells us this story.

“Bereven Omer graduated on a Friday in February, (2013), with an associate degree from Nashville State Community College and started work the following Monday as a computer-networking engineer at a local television station, making about $50,000 a year.”

Statistics show that salary is about 15% higher than the average starting salary for college graduates from either two or four-year degree programs. Omer adds “I have a buddy who got a four-year bachelor’s degree who is making $10 dollars an hour. I’m making two and a half times more than he is.”

Marcus goes on to say that a Georgetown University study shows that some 30 percent of Americans with Associates degrees are now making more than those with Bachelor’s degrees. The post goes on to say that in Tennessee for example, the average wage for two-year graduates right out of school is $38,948. That’s between $1000-1300 dollars more than average salaries paid to four-year degree holders.

However, there is one other statistic of interest in all this. Georgetown University also suggests that about 63% of all jobs will require “postsecondary” education by 2018. Currently, the U.S. is on pace to fall short of meeting that need by about 3 million workers.

Be this as it may, the current underemployment trend is leaving college educated workers in jobs which pay so little that they cannot pay off their student loans, or even maintain the costs of health care. Surviving today’s employment shortfalls is hard enough for many, while at the same time, it is making future job requirements seem all the more worrisome…

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8 thoughts on “College Degrees…Worth The Money?

  1. seems like a lot of grads don’t even enter the field they earned their degree in. my advice, get yourself educated, be it through a 2 yr, 4 yr. program, or learning a trade on the job, and work in something you love and in a business that is needed by the world.

    • Wow, looks AND brains…all that and a bag of chips! (It’s just a saying)! I think if you choose a field which requires a degree, u gotta get it.

      Most anything else, you decide what level of education you want or need for your job. But nothing less than a H.S. diploma…

      Have a great evening, lady!
      ~Rob 🙂

  2. well, I’m not using my degree for the job I have now. Still, I think my college education provided more than just a means to a job. I just think all children should be entitled to a college degree, just like a high school degree. It should be universal, in my humble opinion.

    • Agreed. Anyone who feels they want a 4 year degree should have the opportunity to get it. It’s just that right now the better earning power rests with the “tech” jobs which usually require just a 2 year degree or certification.

      More earning power while paying for less college…

      However, there are many articles which still say a bachelor’s degree will earn you more money and opportunities in the long run.

      Thanks for the comments!
      ~Rob

  3. Technical degrees require a lot of study such as engineering, law, medicine, etc. Many degrees are not worth much more than the paper they are written on. So it’s really a matter of whether you are getting a technical degree, or some other degree. Techincal degrees are definitely worth the money and require a lot more brain power. It’s why America has a shortage in those areas.

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