As a college graduate with two degrees and as a freelance writer, you may wonder why I’m not completely arguing for college as a ticket to financial stability. Perhaps it’s because I’m aware of the latest statistics that show how today’s college graduates are not only loaded with high student loan debt, but they’re also struggling to get careers in the fields they studied for. We can say that one reason is because some of the graduates are not as diligent in their networking skills to seek work but this is not the only factor. Many businesses have cut back on hiring due to financial woes.
What do we say to parents who just had babies and who desire to set up college funds for their children? I’ll be a mother soon and I want my child to be stable financially but what if she decides as a teen that college isn’t for her? As a society we believed the lie that college is your path to a great career but is this really true? Let’s examine this myth carefully.
Dental hygienists enjoy flexible schedules and they can take some courses that cost less than a four-year degree. On average they can earn up to $68,000. Medical secretaries can earn $31,000 annually and they generally learn their skills on the job. Paralegals can earn close to $50,000 and they can take online or school-based courses that tale less than a year to complete. Similar careers include hairdressers, police officers, CNAs and home health aides.
Not all people can afford or have the necessary skills to attend college and we cannot leave these persons out when it comes to training our teens for the global workforce. Why not invest just as much in trade schools where the teens can learn a skill that will save them thousands of dollars in college debt and give them the ability to work for themselves?
As parents, we should ask ourselves if our motives for desiring for our kids to attend college are right. Do we want them to attend college because it makes our image look good or is it because we really feel that college will assist our kids in entering certain careers.
I feel bad for the teenager in high school who feels like a failure because he applied to different colleges but was rejected time and time again. This teen may think that there’s no hope for him unless he gets into someone’s university. What about the person who was released from prison and needs to get work right away? Do we tell him that unless he goes to college he won’t have much of a chance at decent employment?
Sure college has great benefits and in some cases it is necessary. Lawyers and doctors will especially have to attend college since advanced degrees are necessary. Teachers should also consider college and anyone who aspires high level leadership positions. I’m just saying let’s offer our teens options beyond the college degree for financial success.