The Cost of College – A good Investment?
By the EduPlan Team
Medical Doctors are often associated with being wealthy, yet did you know that the average student debt for a medical student is more than $120,000? But say you don’t want the seven years of medical school, did you know a Certified Nurse Anesthetist in Miami can make anywhere from $130k to $168k according to salary.com? Imagine a 6-figure job that will cost you $26,340 at a 4-year public university.
Income is affected by many factors, including bigotry, sexism and a glass ceiling that sometimes could affect the potential earnings of women. Yet Katharine Hansen, PHD and Creative Director of QuintCareers.com discovered that a woman with a bachelor’s degree (BA) will earn 91% more than a woman with a high-school diploma (GED). When it comes to males, the 1999 U.S. Census discovered that men 25+ earn on average $61,000 with a BA vs. $32,000 with a GED.
According to Anthony Balderrama, a writer for CareerBuilder.com, the top-20 highest-paying careers all require college degrees. For example, top corporate controllers earn on average $115k, physicists and systems managers $90k, pharmacists $89k and marketing managers $87k.
For talent-based careers like dancing, photography, acting and others the salaries vary wildly and depend more on individual talent than where the degree was obtained. For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, art directors earned an average yearly income of $88,510 in 2008. Sometimes there’s even a correlation between the cultural glamour of a career and its annual income. Take choreographers, everyone loves “A Chorus Line” yet did you know the average choreographer made $41,870 in 2008? David Mamet won’t be writing a play celebrating aerospace engineers yet their abilities in designing satellites and unmanned flying objects earned them $93,980 last year, which is almost $10,000 more than the average play writer makes.
If making more money doesn’t motivate you, consider the following benefits of going to college: 1. Increase your knowledge and skills. 2. Learn to express yourself verbally and in writing. 3. Manage abstract concepts and theories. 4. Improve your knowledge of the world. The variety of courses required in college will prepare you to deal with unexpected situations, present your work, brainstorm in teams, develop projects and acquire the skills most careers demand. The best part of learning these real-world skills is that if you make mistakes there won’t be real-world consequences – your teachers won’t “fire” you if your proposal wasn’t perfect. In other words, in college you can make the mistakes you can’t afford to make in the real world.
Even if you aspire a talent-based profession like Photography, there’s no better place to practice your craft than at a college filled with resources and experienced professors ready to improve your work and help you develop an artistic portfolio that helps you get a job after graduation. Another advantage of college is helping people find their passion in life – don’t know whether to be an accountant, financial advisor or chemist? Use your required elective courses to find what truly motivates you.
Another great benefit of college is the networking opportunities which include the lifetime bonds created at sororities and fraternities. Forget the tomfoolery of “Animal House,” fraternities give you immediate access to former brothers and sisters that are now some of America’s movers and shakers. Want to get a job at Google? Why go through human resources when maybe a frat brother who graduated in 1986 already works there? Just like LinkedIn, instead of contacting a faceless corporation that throws your resume in the pile you can speak to a human being that might be impressed with you and get the ball rolling in your favor.
Finally, college doesn’t have to be a traditional 4-year expensive Ivy League school. Aside from relatively inexpensive yet equally famous public universities, you can start your higher education with a 2-year associate degree, a certificate program or even technical training. In conclusion, the world of higher education is constantly changing with new careers, new ways to pay for college, new programs, and almost endless possibilities that can overwhelm anyone. Don’t go on this journey alone, speak to the college advisors of EduPlan and learn how to find the higher education that will transform your life for the better.
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