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College vs. the workforce


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By MAI YIA LEE

The Mirror reporter

After high school, most students either chose to go to college, join the army, or jump right into the workforce. And although most students chose to further continue their education by going to two or four years colleges, is it necessarily the better choice?

More now than ever students are getting out of college with not only a degree but also a massive amount of student loan debt. According to Student Loan Hero there are 44.2 million Americans that have some kind of student loan debt that adds up to about 1.45 trillion dollars in total student loan debt.

College doesn’t guarantee students a job and many graduates go unemployed after college or wind up at a job where a college degree is not required. According to the United States Department of Labor, in January 2017 the unemployment rate was 3.8 percent for Americans who had some college or associate degree. And among workers age 25 and older who graduated high school but did not attend college, the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

Naturally, the unemployment rate for students who did not attend college would be more because going to college does increase students’ chances of employment and opportunities. College graduates also have a higher chance of making more money. According to Smartasset, Americans with a bachelor’s degree earn a weekly average of $1,137 while workers with a high school diploma earn only about $678 weekly. And according to Prepscholar, on average college graduates with a bachelor degree earn up to 56 percent more per year than those with a high school diploma.

With all that said, college isn’t for everyone and students can still succeed without a college degree. Some students may not chose to go to college because it means missing an opportunity to make money at a job. Joining the work force right after high school can also allow students to get more experience.

A college degree program can build critical skills, but few colleges and universities can fully prepare students for real world challenges, according to World Wide Learn. In some cases, students who don’t do well in high school can find real satisfaction in the workforce. Jumping right into the workforce is great for students who chose a career that doesn’t require a college degree.

In my personal opinion, I think that neither one is better or worse than the other. They both equally have their own advantages and disadvantages to consider. I think students should just be smart about their choices and chose what is best for themselves.

So is college necessarily the better choice? I’d say no. It really depends on the person and what their career choice may be. As long as students work hard on what they do, I think that anyone can be successful after high school.

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Reflections of the SPASH Community
College vs. the workforce