Do You Need a College Degree?

You’re doomed if you don’t get your degree and work in your field right after college. You’re doomed if you don’t go to college, get a degree, find a job right after, and get married. Right?

Nope.

Do you need a college degree?

I always check out CNN Money and other outlets just to stay on top of things so that I can provide you guys with fresh news and content. Recently, I discovered this little bit of information…

“As of 2012, about 52% of employed college grads under age 25 were not working in jobs that require a college degree,” — according to Andrew Sum, an economist, who likely enjoys looking at graphs and charts.

The article also mentions that future graduating classes will face an “extremely difficult” job market. Meaning that it’s going to be tough to find any work, let alone work directly related to their fields of study.

Another point from the article that really stuck out was this:

“The so-called underemployment rate is a whopping 18.3%.”

The other day I overheard my brother’s speaking about their plans. Pat is in his last year of college, Adrian has another year of high school left. It’s funny how so many of us don’t have any clue of what to expect from life after schooling. I’m done with school and I’m in that same boat!

I need to start off by stating that an education is not overrated. It just isn’t and it’s not fair for anyone to mock someone who worked hard for four years to attain a goal. With that being said, let’s go over a few important questions together…

Do you REALLY need to use your degree?

Not at all. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to directly use your degree and you certainly don’t have to work in the field if you don’t enjoy it.

Some of us get degrees just to kill time and enjoy the college experience. There’s no shame in that. Others get a degree because we know exactly where we want to be in life. That’s rare and I applaud you.

If you’re completely broke after college, you might be forced to accept any job that comes your way. You might use your degree or just take any job that you can because we all know that student loans don’t magically go away.

What if you don’t want to use your degree?

Once again, you don’t have to. It’s your life. Your choice what you do. You don’t have to live your life according to anyone’s expectations. You really don’t have to worry about your friends say.

It’s actually pretty funny because all of my friends tell me that I should get a “real job.” They stress the importance of benefits, building seniority, and getting experience in the field. That in that same breath, most of them will complain about how much they hate the 9-5 40-hour workweek life.

What the hell? How does that make sense? You’re telling me to get a job, when you hate yours. Come on!

That leads to the obvious question: is a degree a waste of money if you don’t use it?

Not at all. It’s not fair to think like that. Our minds change. Life throws us in all sorts of interesting directions. I personally always wanted a desk job and would have settled with working in an office. Then I read the 4-Hour Workweek and started traveling. I realized that I simply couldn’t sit at the same desk for 8 hours a day for 40 hours a week for 52 weeks a year for 30 years. If you can, that’s cool. I can’t. Regardless of what you do, you can’t view your degree as a waste of money.

Well, unless you blew all of your money on booze and dropped out of school. Then yes, student loans suck!

What if you can’t find work in your field? What if you’re stuck in a job that you hate?

Well, you might not have anyone to blame, but yourself. It could just be the reality that your college degree doesn’t pay well. There are many degrees that don’t pay well. It’s a fact. Not an opinion.

There’s a list of degrees that pay well and offer great job opportunities.

Some degrees just don’t lead to anything. You can get mad all that you want at me. I’m just being realistic. Getting into massive debt for a degree without a track record of paying well is just pointless.

According to PayScale I found the following numbers on salaries after college:

Child and Family Studies has a starting median pay of $29,600.

Theology isn’t the worst but it ranks at number 10 with a starting media salary of $35,600.

Social Work has a starting median pay of $32,200.

Please don’t be shocked if you have one of these degrees and aren’t a millionaire yet. The facts are there. These are noble fields that lead to fulfilling work. Millions? Likely not. Sorry. Be informed and spread the word. Don’t complain.

There are many ways to land a fat paycheck after graduation. That article links to well-paying majors. There are programs that are simply in demand. These majors will earn you the big bucks. You might have to work a little in college. You won’t be able to party as much. But you’ll increase your chances of making the big bucks in your 20s.

 

5 thoughts on “Do You Need a College Degree?”

  1. I think in our society we were fed the belief to follow our “passion” and we have to have a job that we love. I never looked at it that way. I always felt a job is a job and the more I do it the better I get and the more I enjoy it. I studied engineering but now I am in sales and wouldn’t have it another way. Here’s a great post by Mark Cuban that sums it up well: http://blogmaverick.com/2012/03/18/dont-follow-your-passion-follow-your-effort/

  2. I have to agree with your statement about not being fair to say that a college education is overrated. It takes a lot of effort and sacrifice to enroll and actually finish any degree, in my opinion. Now, as far as working in the same field as your studies, like you said that is not always the case. I have a business degree and never took any classes related to marketing, and that’s the field where I work now. I like the challenges life brings you and with an education you have a good foundation to take on many challenges.

    1. I’m surprised that you never took marketing courses in a business program. Any reason for that? What’s your best tip for those that want to get into marketing?

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