Is college worth it?

Graduation will be here before you know it, if you're a senior. Is college worth it? Great discussion here (about 5 mins): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU8mxEx54y8

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    • Ben Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 3 mths ago
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    After you watch the video, just one more thing to consider: Many of the skilled labor areas are increasing pay due to a lack of workers. I have family that live where there's only 3 certified industrial electricians to service all the factories, offices, etc. for about 4 counties radius  (less than 1 per county, and it's really less because 1 of them is part-time aka retired).  From what I understand, they're always busy and commanding top rates for their field. In my area, there's a large company hiring top in their class welding graduates from career/tech school (from both adult education program and high school programs) at $60,000/yr and they can make about 1/3 more if they're willing to travel for the company (that's what the company briefed at a school board meeting). There's also a large equipment manufacturer hiring diesel engine mechanics (again trade school grads) starting around $45,000 and quickly moving up to $55,000 (I sold a small pickup truck to a grad).

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    • Ben Khaki Storm
    • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
    • Khaki_Storm.1
    • 3 mths ago
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    Disclaimer: Of course it all depends on the college degree, life is not all about money, the outlook of the industry, saturation of the industry, the scholarships available to the student, drive of the student, and a million other factors. A nuclear engineer going to school on all scholarship, then directly into the Navy after college to gain work experience and his Ph.D. from Uncle Sam, will absolutely out due almost anyone in lifetime earnings. On the other end of the spectrum, you have my local grocery clerk and the guy at Tim Hortons, who have 4 yr degrees with student loans, are not in management positions at their jobs and haven't found a way to start their career work yet. (I've asked because I'm just talkative.) 

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  • I am a high school teacher and this is a conversation I have with my seniors frequently. I hate how all schools are now pushing kids to college. They seem to think if they don't go to college they are some kind of failure. Then there are those who don't know what they want to do but think they will go to college and figure things out. I have a Ph.D. and the student loans to go with it and I am a firm believer in taking a gap year (or two) and figuring things out.  I agree with Rodney in a number of areas. Starting at a 2-year college is always a great idea and you really do need to know what you want to do before you jump into college. 

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      • Ben Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 3 mths ago
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      Green Mask Thank you for watching a commenting! I was almost a high school teacher. I was hired as an after school math tutor. However, I ended up leading a computer lab of about 20-25 students where I'd split my time to help students in almost all subjects for a school year. I'd try to group students in the same subjects to get to as many as possible. Sometimes, all they needed was a computer program for a class, but other times I was nearly teaching health, biology, history, art, math, English (that was the scariest one), and personal finance. I pushed back on the administration, but they still referred the students to me. All the students did well except the art student. Even his friends were saying, just listen to Ben and pass the class, but he disagreed with the teacher's evaluation of his work.Nobody likes a critic. Anyway, all that to say, I had more talks from the principal than I wanted about how "I should always talk to students with college in their future." I was offered a full time teaching position the following year, but turned it down. I could see I was only going to be on the outside of the administration.  Many of my students were juniors or seniors. We talked about life and their goals. They'd tell me I didn't talk like the other teachers. They'd say, you actual listen to what we want to do.  Many were experiencing generational government assistance. Some came to their own conclusion the only way out was the army, a sports scholarship, or an honors program at a local college. (There's a really good college that offers to pay the first year for students that enroll in a tutoring program all thru high school.)  Others saw no escape from it and were determined to sign up for their own housing assistance the day they graduated high school. I encouraged planning for the future. The key was to make informed decisions, research trade schools, careers, take assessment of their own talents and interest. 

      P.S. The ROTC teacher was awesome! He was really invested in the students as I've never seen. He worked out family issues, stayed late with a few students because their parents or foster parents were working late and the only other option was for the students to wander around town for hours, etc. 

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  • I agree with the concept, although I haven't been able to watch the video here at work.  I'm not sure what my kids will do, still in elementary/middle school, but it's coming right up.  I'll tell you one thing, though, both of my nephews have taken the trade route.  One took a 2 year welding program at the community college, and is currently living with my parents in Colorado, working full time, picking up tons of overtime, and LOVING his job.  He is very creative, and the best welder his boss has worked with, even fresh out of school.  I guess he's just a natural, but I'm sure after a couple years there, if he starts getting bored, he can go on to bigger and better, and make even more money.

    My other nephew is in his first year of a 2 year Diesel Mechanics program in South Dakota.  It's something he's been interested in since a kid.  He even bought a complete dump of a truck that had almost everything broken on it.  He used it as a project in his shop class in high school, and fixed up everything.  he said, "If I still love it after fixing this thing up, I'll know that's what I want to do."  So that's what he's doing.  He's being sponsored by a company (can't think of the name right now) that is putting him through school, and even paying for all his tools, which is in itself about a $10,000 investment, and he has to work for them during school breaks, and for 4 years after he graduates.

    Both of them will be out and on their own with no student loans!  That's the biggest thing, whether college is worth it or not, you need to find some way of getting scholarship, or work/study program, or something to make it affordable.

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      • Ben Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 3 mths ago
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      Bruce Absolutely! Great examples! Also, it doesn't mean they are stuck in those roles. Maybe after 5-10 years, they want to move to management or training/teaching, engineering, or quality roles. Hopefully the employer picks up the cost of any required education for those changes. The best engineers I've ever worked went a similar path, trade knowledge and experience first, then school. 

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      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 3 mths ago
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      Ben Khaki Storm 

      Ben Khaki Storm said:
      The best engineers I've ever worked

       What kind of engineers? It's a rather broad term, that ranges from train driver to people designing and building high performance aerospace vehicles.

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      • Ben Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 3 mths ago
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      nolesrule these were electrical, mechanical, advanced materials (composites, fiberglass), fluid dynamics. Some were on the high performance end, mine resistant vehicles, etc. Some were designing wind turbines, things like that. 

      I should also define best. They were the best problem solvers, the best troubleshooters, created the best designs for the full lifecycle of the product, worked the best with production to train people. 

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    • Bruce I absolutely love this! They both seem passionate about what they're doing and then you threw in the kicker of not having student loans! Win-win! :)

      Reply Like 1
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