Higher education, or not? That seems to be a topic of discussion among many right now. Should your child straddle themselves with debt because of the high cost of college? Think about finishing your four years of college and before you land your first job you have more than $35,000 in debt according to a CNN Money article dated May 17, 2013. The article said that the 2013 graduate will have $35,200 in debt on graduation date.
Student loan debt comes out to be more than $1 trillion. Is that really worth it? And to make matters even worse, many of the college graduates with a Bachelor’s degree feel the need to go further with their education. To gain a Master’s degree, be prepared to spend double what your undergraduate program cost. Can you imagine beginning your career, provided you can find a job in your field, with close to $100,000 in debt. You may never recover.
What about the Vocational school route? If a student who has interest in a vocational school diploma had the opportunity, would they be better off financially? Mike Rowe, host of the now discontinued Dirty Jobs, has started a foundation to help students prepare for the work force. Profoundly Disconnected, Mike’s new project is making waves. Mike says, “a trillion dollars in student loans. Record high unemployment. Three million good jobs that no one seems to want. The goal of Profoundly Disconnected is to challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. The Skills Gap is here, and if we don’t close it, it’ll swallow us all.” His foundation has raised $1.6 in education scholarships to help those who have need.
According to Money Morning magazine dated July 29, 2013 there are more than 3 million jobs in American waiting to be filled. There are some 200,000 manufacturing jobs currently unfilled according to the article. It goes on to say that Caterpillar Inc. had listings for 26 positions and no one applied. Both the Washington Post and Bloomberg BusinessWeek have companion articles that take a look at the financial and practical side of Vocational Education and the benefits to the student and society.
So, when thinking about what route to take, University or Vocational school, count the cost and do what is best for you. I have met many students over the years that just stop school after high school. They are not interested in going to a University. Maybe a Community College, but even that is not appealing. They just start working, and ten years later they have done nothing except work, and still have no marketable skills. They never get ahead. But they do have the aptitude to contribute. If they only had an opportunity to go to a vocational school, they would excel.