College or Work after High School?
There are a number of options to choose once you complete high school: join the military, go to college, join the Peace Corps, or enter the workforce and get a job. Let me share the pros and cons of going to college versus joining the workforce.
The loans for college can be outrageous; however, a college degree can give a person a greater income that will make up for all the college expenses. In the long run and economically, going to college is the better choice.
Studies show, workers aged 25 and up, who only completed a high school degree, had a median income of $27,380, while workers with a bachelor’s degree earned a median income of $46,440. According to the Institute for Higher Education, one study highlighted special benefits to choosing a college degree, such as increased savings and job flexibility, and better consumer decision-making.
There are people who choose to work in hopes to be able to eventually someday afford college. Oftentimes, individuals who make this decision are those who have family or personal debt that needs to be paid off, thus higher priority over continuing a college education.
Sometimes a person’s dreams cannot be realized with a college degree. For example, a person wants to pursue a career at a job he or she has been working for in hopes of an advancement opportunity. There are auto mechanics who have learned the job working in a garage, not getting a degree.
Some high school students who took advantage of vocational training during high school are already qualified in their fields; therefore, they do not need a college degree. Whether it’s landscaping, culinary arts, or some other field, vocational training often provides sufficient training.
There are people who focus their attention elsewhere and choose regular work to earn a living. Whether an aspiring actor or rock band, some just need to make enough money to pay utilities and rent while they pursue a field in which a college degree is not necessary.
The Mold Isn’t For Everyone
Although it is true for the most part that a lack of college will diminish a person’s job flexibility and earnings in a lifetime, this is not always true. There are quite a few entrepreneurs and inventors who are doing something new that doesn’t fit the common path. Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were college dropouts.
In the end, it is a choice you as an individual must personally choose. Economically, it is more sensible to choose college after graduating from high school. However, there are many situations in which individuals choose work for their greater benefit.
To Sum It Up: College vs. Work
If you choose to go to college:
· You will be trained in specific skills that will qualify you for specific jobs
· You are likely to make more money than someone with just a high school diploma
· Your rank and advancements can occur more quickly
· You will have a better chance of a stable career
· You can take advantage of co-curricular activities
· You can have a quality of life that is desirable
· You can develop life skills that are very important, such as decision-making and independent thinking
If the workforce is more meaningful to you and you choose to skip college:
· You will earn a living sooner
· You will get an earlier start in the job market
· You will be prepared for challenges of the real world faster
· You won’t have to worry about paying off school loans
· You will learn critical skills while being trained on the job
Be sure to consider, though, your options for employment will be limited. Know that you may need to work jobs that are low pay or minimum wage. A stable career may not be an option, or you may change jobs more often. Ranking and advancement can be difficult without a degree and you are more vulnerable to be laid off.
College AND Career
It is a possibility to have both worlds with online courses. Online education allows more flexibility that allows you to earn a living while also pursuing a degree. You can work to make a living while studying at your own pace! Why not pursue that bachelor’s degree to help you earn that career advancement?
Distance learning is becoming greatly accepted and more widely available. It can be difficult to choose the best school. You must look at the program offerings, such as the number of degrees and offered subjects, the cost of the programs, and the accreditation. Accreditation must be considered and should be recognized by the United States Department of Higher Education and The Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Another important thing to consider when choosing your online school is whether or not you can transfer your credits if you choose to change schools. If you want to transfer from a school with no accreditation to a regional accredited school, you could have a difficult time.
Also, look at student reviews and college rankings online to get an idea of the school’s reputation. Some online schools have monthly or weekly start-ups, where others only offer startups once or twice each year. College takes a lot of money, time and effort; therefore, the school’s reputation that will be giving you a degree is very important!
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