Why College May Not be the Best Financial Decision

If you are at the point in your life where you are asking if college is really the right choice for you; you are not alone. In the current economy millions of fresh faced kids are graduating under massive student loan debt with nothing but a degree that doesn’t guarantee them any work. The world, and the economy, has changed and degrees are no longer as valuable as much as they used to be.

Is getting stuck under mountains of student loan debt really worth four years of higher education? And, is the education that you are getting at a University really worth all the money it costs?

More and more, people are saying NO.

Is It Really Higher Education?
Studies are showing that college graduates don’t possess higher critical thinking or complex reasoning skills than they did at the beginning of college. This is because education has shifted from helping and nurturing young minds into being independent and creative thinkers; into helping young minds become machines that spit out memorized information by rote. This type of schooling doesn’t actually foster learning skills.

It has been proven that people will learn more in their first year of on-the-job training than they will in four years of college training. This is because most people learn by doing and being engrossed in the system rather than sitting and being lectured about the system and how it works. It is also proven that the average student doesn’t retain the information they are expected to remember in college. By the next semester in school students will have lost 75 percent of what they learned the previous semester. Those are some sad numbers and they prove that memorization doesn’t work.

Sky-Rocketing Costs
So, if your skills aren’t really improving in college classes, is it worth it to pay all that money to go? New statistics show that education and student loan debts have outpaced credit card debt in the United States. In 2011 student loan debt reached a whopping $1 trillion and unemployment numbers continue to climb. Student loans are not forgivable under bankruptcy laws and many students are unable to find work once they get that diploma in hand. This means that most students are buried under an insane amount of student loan debt with no way to pay it off and ruined credit before they even enter the job market.

Where College Falls Short
We live in a fast paced world and what many college graduates are now learning is that what they learned in school is no longer relevant. This is especially true for people who are set to enter into a field connected to computers, technology, and science. The technology moves so fast that what was cutting edge and people were learning a year ago is obsolete today.

What Are the Alternatives?

Many people are now looking at life skills and life experiences as an alternative to college. It’s no secret that some of the richest, and most innovative, people in this century either never went to college or dropped out. It is possible to be a contributing member of society without going through the “higher education” system.

Employers are also starting to see that college isn’t much more than an expensive piece of paper. Increasingly employers are looking to the internet to help them find the brightest candidates for their open positions. By marketing yourself online, and having good connections in the business world, you are more likely to find lucrative and fulfilling employment than you are from sending out your resume with your college credentials attached to it.

There are actually more people graduating from college than ever before and employers are coming to the conclusion that those diplomas don’t actually guarantee anything. In the past, someone with a college education was expected to have a certain set of skills, knowledge, and abilities. People who had gone to college were expected to have a higher intelligence than people who didn’t. This is no longer true. A college education is no longer a guarantee of skills, knowledge or intelligence. All that a diploma is a guarantee of is the fact that someone spent a lot of money for four years and a piece of paper.

What is the Right Decision?
All of this is not to say that no one should ever go to college. There is a place for college education and there are professions where serious and in-depth training is important. The real question is not whether or not you should go to college, but what is it you want to do with your life? What are you interested in? What fuels you and makes you excited?

If your answer to that question is that you want to be a doctor and help kids, well then, college is the right choice for you. You need to go through the training and learning systems that medical college will provide. But this isn’t true for all of the professions out there. There are other creative and less expensive ways that you can get involved in a career. For many professions, gaining real life, hands on experience will go a lot further than a college education.

Still Not Sure What to Do?
If you really feel like college is where you need to be, but you’re not sure that you want to pay all the money and deal with the years of memorization there are still things you can do.

Look into the education system in other countries and maybe even consider studying abroad. Other countries take college education seriously. They seem to understand that this time should be used as a preparation for the job market and the world. Students in other countries are getting real training and have real prospects at the end of it; all of this for often a quarter of the costs for schooling in the United States. If higher education is important to you, perhaps you would be better off getting that education in another country.