College Or Work: Which Is The Right Direction For Your Kids?

The number of people attending college has been growing steadily over the last few decades but now that growth is starting to slow a little. For the past four years, college applications have gone down even though the number of people graduating high school is going up. As more people started getting degrees they lost a lot of their value and there are more graduates than ever that simply can’t find a job. So, does that mean college is a bad idea altogether? More parents are starting to encourage their kids to look for alternatives but is this the right thing to do?




The debt that they’ll end up in is one of the main reasons that parents are advising against college. It costs around $30,000 a year for tuition and that’s before you’ve considered living costs and books etc. Most people need to take out loans to cover that and the interest on them is ridiculous. You’ll probably end up with at least $100,000 worth of debt at the end of it. It seems like a no brainer then that you should avoid college at all costs but it isn’t quite that simple.


The first thing to consider is that there are ways of reducing that debt by quite a bit. Companies like can refinance the debt and cut it by around $20,000. If you’ve studied in a health related field, those savings could be even bigger. You’ll still be saddled with quite a hefty debt but you can get rid of a chunk of it right away.


The other thing to remember is that, while you’re taking on all of that debt, having a degree means that you’ve got access to more high paying jobs than those that don’t. The weekly average earning for somebody with a bachelor’s degree is $1,137 whereas the average across the board is only $860. When you add that difference up over the years you can see that, with a degree, you’ll be earning a lot more money.



Lack Of Job Experience

This is another thing that is putting people off. When they graduate and try to find jobs, they find out that they’re losing out to people who have three or four years of work experience because they didn’t go to college. While it’s true that employers are putting more focus on experience, some jobs still won’t even consider you without a degree. There is no right answer here, it depends on what field you want to go into. Lots of people do a college degree only to find that they can’t get a job because of experience, and those people could probably do without going. But if you find that your job requires a degree then you should go.


It’s also worth looking into courses that offer a year placement in industry which gives you the degree and a bit of experience so you’ve got the best of both worlds.


The truth is too many kids are pushed into college when it isn’t necessarily right for them and the career path that they want to follow. That doesn’t mean you should turn your kids off college completely, just work out whether it’s the best way for them to get what they want or not.


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