Learning to ‘Adult’

Adulting is hella hard.

No, seriously, every high school senior should know this: things don’t get easier after you graduate. Instead you’re thrust into the swirling abyss of ‘transition’ and have to figure out where the hell your life is going. And the one thing that every relative at every family gathering wants to know is of course if your plan involves college.

There can be a lot of pressure put on teens to find the ‘right’ college but what if college overall isn’t the best choice?

Let’s find out.

As a kid I was always told that college was the only way to get a good job; that the only reason that someone would not go is if they couldn’t. But when I researched the number of jobs requiring a college degree, I came up with this startling result: only 27.1% of jobs require a college degree or schooling. Which really threw me until I also found out that college graduates make 75% more money than non-graduates. That was more on par with what I’ve always been told.

Money’s a great motivator to attend a college, but it can be easier to get certain jobs when you have work experience. When I was first out of high school, I needed to find a job so I could raise enough money to go back to school but it was almost impossible to get hired. I was so focused on school as a teen that I never got an after school job and no one wants to hire an adult with no work experience. Looks a little sketchy.

So I could have benefited from experience and indeed, when I went on to my second job the fact that I had retail experience made it a snap to find employment. So, if your dream job is something in the mechanical world or other skill based industries, a vocational school or internship might be a better option than a traditional four-year college experience.

So, let’s look at some more facts:

· Only 27.1% of jobs require a college degree

· College graduates make 75% more than non-graduates

· The average student will go into 20,000 dollars worth of debt at a four year college

· The average wage for a college graduate is $58, 415 which means that with effort, the debt can be paid off

· The average wage for a high school gradate is $46,895

So in the end, it looks like if money’s your aim that college is a great option but if you’re hoping for a quick employment or a job that doesn’t require extra schooling, college can be an expensive and time consuming place that won’t actually help. So before someone decides to make a choice it’s important to ask:

· What kind of job do I want?

· Do I need a degree to do it?

· Do I need work experience to do it?

· How much money will this job make?

· How much debt would college put me in?

· Do I want to go to college?

That last question might not seem as important as the others, but in the end if you don’t want to go to college then you shouldn’t. It’s your life and if your plan involves school or work it doesn’t matter; both options will get you where you want to end up, you just need to decide where that is.

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