Why Getting a Degree Isn’t Always a Sound Financial Decision

The idea of getting a college education for the sake of learning how to think has become passé. Now, young people see college as an investment, thinking, “If I (or my parents) pay to earn a degree now, I can make more money later.” In many cases, the investment pays off. Most high-paying jobs require degrees, and within industries, those with degrees are often paid more than those without.

But is college always something worth what you pay for it? I still hold the old-fashioned notion that an education for the sake of education is worthwhile, but if you are someone who doesn’t enjoy formal learning and you are getting a degree only for financial gain, you may be bette


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16 Responses to Why Getting a Degree Isn’t Always a Sound Financial Decision

  1. It would also depend on the area you live in and your willingness to travel. I went to college a number of years ago to study engineering (not a very female orientated industry). A number of people dropped off the course on the way and took up apprenticeships. After completing the degree the industry wasn’t what it was when I started the course, especially in our area. The end result of which was that there was an abundance of unemployed college graduates as there was little work. Those that did get jobs were poorly paid and those that did apprenticeships were both on a good salary and position within 2-3 years of us leaving college. Just goes to show education isn’t everything.

  2. princessperky says:

    education might be everything, but a college degree certainly isn’t..there is a difference, those in apprenticeships were getting an education, but not a degree, those in college may have been getting both, or not.

  3. terri says:

    The idea that you can make a decent wage without a degree isn’t exactly news. Sure you can, if you’re willing to enter certain fields, in certain areas, with certain skills. But having an education or degree will almost always give you an even greater chance of making more money in the right field.

  4. Amy says:

    Sound, well-reasoned advice.

    I’ve also noticed that it seems like these days having a bachelor’s degree doesn’t put you as far ahead of the curve. Many of my friends went onto grad school or law school after college, and the MBA degree seems to be the trendy, insanely expensive ticket to “the good life.”

  5. barffie says:

    For those in the creative line, your creativity (but of course) and EQ might come in more handy.

  6. Pinyo says:

    Thank you for a very thorough write up. I agree with what you said, and want to add that those who choose to go to college should also consider the costs of education. I went to a very expensive school, but I would have been equally educated and better off financially if I had gone to the less expensive school that offered me better price and bigger scholarship. If I can redo it, I would chose the cheaper route this time around.

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  8. yoyo says:

    Education is a scam. I have a PhD in engineering/biotech and can’t find a job since ages. I have always been one of the best students, if not the best.

    My advices is that you run as fast as you can if somebody advices you to get a degree. Never set a step into a university, get into the real world ASAP, try to safe money, try to built up passive income.

  9. Bodhi says:

    Getting a degree will always be important. Not only career-wise but also individually.Good Luck!

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  11. Praveen says:

    Nowadays most jobs that pay above $26,000 require at least a bachelors degree, and even if you have a college degree it isn’t a guarantee you will get or be successful at the job. It is now coming down to the “soft skills” such as communication rather than the academic skills.

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  14. Mar34 says:

    Everything in this article says that getting a degree is a waste of time and that most end up making less or the same as a person working at Wal-mart or you will work a job that you could have worked w/o a degree. So how can you still come to the conclusion that a college education is worth the money? Most people never even get a job in the feild they graduated in. And most have bosses that never went to college. College is a joke….an expensive one to say the least.

  15. rww says:

    I think that what a college pays as far as the return on your investment depends on what you studied in college. I went to college for the sake of learning. I think that the reason people feel that college may not be worth the investment is because they are not willing to use that college knowledge to work harder for a better return.

  16. john says:

    A degree is a really good idea as long as you don’t spend a massive amount of money on it and graduate with $20,000 in debt..

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