As tuition costs skyrocket and graduate employment rates plummet, many high school students are wondering, “Is getting my Bachelor’s degree actually worth the cost?” Disillusioned college graduates return home only to find themselves shackled with debt and unable to land a job. It is obvious that many people have had unrealistic expectations for the success that their Bachelor’s degree was supposed to guarantee them. But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater–getting your Bachelor’s is a valuable investment in your future if you go about it the right way.
The Problem with College
Many colleges are grossly overpriced because they have marketed themselves as the ticket to the good life. Therefore, many families are willing to shell out obscene amounts of cash to send their child to college. While studies show that a Bachelor’s degree does contribute to success in the job market, this is no reason for anyone to ruthlessly rack up debt. The thought process behind picking a college often goes something like this:
- A high school senior is not sure what he wants to do with his life.
- He is told that getting his Bachelor’s degree will help him find a job no matter what he decides to do.
- He picks a random major at a school that looks like a lot of fun.
- It’s expensive, but school administrators (who have no conflict of interest whatsoever) assure him that he is making a wise investment.
- He graduates with a mountain of debt and still has no idea what he wants to be when he grows up.
The Benefits of College
While a Bachelor’s degree is not a magic ticket for a problem-free life, it is a good investment in yourself. It will make you an educated, well-rounded person with the skills to succeed at whatever you do. According to an article in the New York Times, Bachelor’s degrees are beneficial even for cashiers, plumbers, and others who do not need a degree to get a job. Not only do they get more promotions and raises, but they live more fulfilled lives.
Is Getting My Bachelor’s Degree Right for Me?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether or not you should earn a four-year degree. You need to evaluate the goals that you have for your life and decide what is right for you. Don’t rely on someone else to tell you whether or not getting your Bachelor’s will be worth it in the long run–crunch those numbers yourself. Look at the cost of tuition and see what type of salary you can expect to earn with your degree. If your dream job does not pay well enough to justify enormous student loans, try starting off at a community college or working your way through college to keep your costs down.
If I want a good return on my investment, I need to be smart with my money. Getting my Bachelor’s degree can be the smartest investment I ever make, but not if I overspend.