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
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).
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.)
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.
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.