Pursuing a Degree: Is the Debt Worth the Education
The cost of college is a major consideration when deciding to get a degree. If you don’t have the funds to pay or your family cannot cover the bills, getting loans will be necessary.
There are a number of factors involved in making the decision to take on debt to finance an education. Consider the following points when making a decision to take on debt to pay for college.
- Look at the problem like a business does when making an investment. An education is an investment that you are making in you. Return on investment is you are trying to determine. Will the cost of an education including the interest on the debt be covered by future earnings relating to your degree. Will that online business degree pay for itself.
- Where do you intend to go to school at? Your choices are private college, a public college or pursue an online business degree or other degree. This can greatly affect the amount of money you may need to borrow. Private colleges on average cost roughly $122,000 for a bachelors degree. Public colleges average at about $38,000 for a bachelors degree. These estimates assume that a student will finish in four years. Online degrees can be either public or private. The costs above include tuition, room and board, as well as books. Pursuing an online bachelors degree or any other major would save the room and board cost and could allow you to keep a current job if you have one.
- What to study? Maybe what you have always wanted to be is in business as a Wall Street banker or stock broker. That is great but your chances of getting a good job to pay off student loan debt will be greatly increased if your online business degree specializes in accounting, finance or statistics. Students need to take a really good look at the job market as it currently exists. Colleges offer degrees that do not necessarily translate to a good paying job. Getting a degree in Drama or Theater Arts might be what you are most interested in but very few will make it as big stars and that degree is not in demand for many other jobs.
- The best degrees to chose are ones that will give you a specific skill not just a rounded education. For example, a liberal arts degree does not prepare you for a job the way an engineering degree will. Earning a business degree online with a concentration in finance will make you much more marketable than a degree in history. Good jobs are in engineering, computer science, nursing and accounting. These fields are hiring even when the economy is in a down turn. Choosing a degree with a large number of unemployed graduates is never a good choice.
- Consider that some of the best candidates for jobs have made the effort to double major. This makes them much more valuable to prospective employers. To complete a double major will require serious work while in school but the payoff with a good paying job can make all the hard work worthwhile. It is not just the double major but the time taken to really understand what a professional in your field needs to know. Often at universities, after you pay for the first 15 hours the cost per hour drops considerably which means you get more education for your dollars.
When you take into account the above factors it is a little bit easier to decide if the cost of taking on debt for college is worth it. There are numerous studies that show that the lifelong earnings of a college graduate is higher than those with just a high school diploma. It is important that with a degree or without one every person needs marketable skills in today’s world. A college graduate with a degree in Japanese Art may be much worse off than a skilled welder or plumber.
Be sure in your own mind that the degree you are pursuing will lead you to your career goals. Realistic goals and a good plan can help you find the answer to the question, is the debt worth the education?