Over the last 35 years, college tuition has gone up about 750% Altogether, about 40 million Americans owe more than a trillion dollars in student loan debt, and that number is only set to grow
With many jobless graduates struggling to pay off their education, it is starting to look like college isn’t that great of an investment anymore So, does college still matter, and is it even worth it? Well, it’s no secret that the purpose of going to college is to find employment after graduating According to the US’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for graduates with bachelor degrees or higher is just 25%, compared to 5% among high school graduates However, for those who only had some college education, or only received an associates degree, the unemployment rate was much higher, roughly 4
5% Now, while that figure might be comforting, it includes post-grads of all ages, and doesn’t paint a realistic picture for graduates today At its peak in 2011, recent four-year college graduates saw an unemployment rate of about 11% That’s more than twice the national average! And when counting those who are underemployed, meaning that they work in jobs which do not actually require a bachelor’s degree, the number is MUCH higher Since 2001, the underemployment rate for recent grads has been rising, hitting 44% by 2012
That’s nearly half of all grads in a job where their degree is irrelevant Of course, what you do in college can often be as important as going to college altogether In-demand careers like Nursing and Education may see low to mid-range salaries, but have comparatively stable rates of employment for recent graduates Meanwhile, majors based in humanities and arts see incredibly high unemployment, more than twice that of those who never went to college in the first place Moreover, despite having to pay back an average of $33,000 dollars per student, salaries for recent graduates are relatively low
In the Arts they range from about $26,000 to $36,000 a year For a family of four, that’s barely above the poverty line For some, a college education may not be worth the additional costs, but what if you get into a really good school? Does that matter? Well, a 2015 study found that among science, humanities, and engineering majors, there was little to no difference in future earnings between graduating from a mid-tier or a top-tier school However, for business, social science, and education was there a significant relationship between the quality of school and future salary prospects So does college really matter? Sort of
For many, the cost of getting a degree far outweighs potential job prospects and earnings, and over the past decade, more and more people have fallen into that category However, the outlook for non-college graduates are pretty abysmal as well Perhaps most realistically, regardless of whether you go to college or not, young people are suffering a job crisis unseen since The Great Depression But one school in San Francisco, California is seeking to end the crisis of college costs by not charging tuition Learn more in this video by Seeker Stories
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