College is Overrated


Catherine Arellano

Many colleges are promoted to FHS students.

In recent years, the number of college graduates has increased. While there are benefits to a more educated society, the monetary burden of earning a bachelor’s degree hurts graduates for many years after attending university. According to Education Data, the average debt after a bachelor’s degree is $28,000. In order to remedy the disadvantage of student loan debt, there should be more career pathways that do not require a 4-year degree.

Swarthmore College has a sticker price of $77,354. For a total cost of $309 416 over four years, a person can earn a degree in “Classics” while taking classes like “Epigraphy,” or studying and interpreting ancient inscriptions. What can a person do with a degree in Classics? They could be a higher education lecturer, museum curator, or an academic researcher. The average salary for a person who has a Classical and Ancient Studies degree is $46,158. The average salary for a high school graduate with no further education is $38, 792.

Many degrees do not have a good monetary return on investment (ROI). If the salary a person will make after college graduation is not significantly higher than that of a high school graduate, it simply is not worth going into debt to get the degree. STEM degrees tend to have a better ROI, with the highest-earning bachelor’s degrees all being STEM-based.

Humanities degrees contribute a lot to our society. From arts to literature to music, it is an essential field. While these studies are vital, it is not worth going into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to get a degree that won’t pay off in salary. According to a study by Bankrate, the unemployment rate for humanities degrees is higher than that of STEM degrees. At the same time, those with humanities degrees who are actually employed earn far less on average than those with STEM degrees.

College should prepare a person for the workforce. Some jobs require a bachelor’s degree, but in reality, there is no need for one in order to do the job well. There are many jobs that would benefit from reworking job requirements to remove the need for a bachelor’s degree. More programs should exist for specific career paths to train people in 2 years or less. This would immensely reduce the cost of education for young people beginning their careers. Some jobs that require bachelor’s degrees require them solely because they want to weed out people who they believe may be underqualified.

Dental hygienists, x-ray technicians and physical therapy assistants are good career opportunities for people who do not want to get a bachelor’s degree. Going into a trade school for specific opportunities like becoming a plumber or an electrician is also a good option that doesn’t require the time and monetary commitment of a bachelor’s degree. These programs provide amazing opportunities for people to get into a higher-paying career without the lifelong burden of student loan debt.