Is My Degree Really Worth the Debt?


By Staff Writer Published on May 3, 2018

It’s the same question we ask ourselves every day: Should I buy a shirt for $10 that will only last a month or spend the money on a $30 shirt that will last a year? Do I purchase a $5,000 car that will last a year or purchase a $30,000 car that will last 10 years? Should I pay thousands of dollars to get a degree and earn more money or have zero school debt by not going to college and earn less money?

A college degree dramatically affects the amount of money you will earn in your lifetime. According to a 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average person with a high school diploma earned $515 a week, while the person with a Bachelor’s degree earned $1,189 a week.

In addition, the average person will have 11 different jobs in their lifetime, according to the BLS. During the time of job transition, it is important to note how unemployment affects those without a degree. The BLS reports that the 2016 unemployment rate for individuals without a college degree is 5.2%, whereas those who have a Bachelor’s degree only have a 2.7% unemployment rate. This means that in 2016 someone without a college degree was almost twice as likely to be unemployed as someone with a college degree.

College debt is something to consider seriously. Nobody likes having debt, but today it is as normal as getting dressed. We accrue debt on a daily basis, from eating out to vacations.  It makes sense to see our debt as an investment to get ahead in life, to earn more money, and to have a safety net when we change jobs. And, with a better paycheck, you can afford to pay for your college education.

Can you afford not having a career safety net that’s worth $1 million? Say “yes” to a college degree from Stevens-Henager College.

Author Bio: Allison Murphy is the Director of Career Services at the West Haven Campus, and teaches the CSS299 classes. She earned her Journalism degree from the University of Massachusetts and is licensed to teach Secondary English. She has been working in Career Services for 16 years. As a Massachusetts native, she grew up doing landscape photography and was voted a Top 10 Artist in the Pioneer Valley for 2002.

Sources:

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/nlsoy.pdf

https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/high-school-graduates-who-work-full-time-had-median-weekly-earnings-of-718-in-second-quarter.htm