20% of millennials are homeowners, and most millennials say their student debt has delayed home ownership by seven years on average.  Student loan borrowers delayed retirement saving (41%), car purchases (40%), home purchases (29%), and marriage (15%).  Less than 50% of women and 30% of men had passed the “transition to adulthood” milestones by age 30 (finishing school, moving out of their parents’ homes, being financially independent, marrying, and having children); in 1960, 77% of women and 65% of men had completed these milestones by age 30.  Read More
Is a College Education Worth It?
The American debate over whether a college education is worth it began when the colonists arrived from Europe and founded “New College” (later renamed Harvard University) in 1636. Today, there are around 20 million college students in the United States, and over 44 million borrowers owe a collective 800.5 trillion in total student debt.
People who argue that college is worth it contend that college graduates have higher employment rates, bigger salaries, and more work benefits than high school graduates. They say college graduates also have better interpersonal skills, live longer, have healthier children, and have proven their ability to achieve a major milestone.
People who argue that college is not worth it contend that the debt from college loans is too high and delays graduates from saving for retirement, buying a house, or getting married. They say many successful people never graduated from college and that many jobs, especially trades jobs, do not require college degrees. Read more background…
College graduates have more and better employment opportunities.
85.2% of college freshman said they attended college to “be able to get a better job.”  The unemployment rate for Americans over 25 with a bachelor’s degree was 1.9% in Dec. 2019, compared to 2.7% for those with some college or associate’s degrees, 3.7% for high school graduates, and 5.2% for high school drop-outs.  Underemployment, meaning insufficient work, is lower for college grads (6.2%) as compared to high school-only graduates (12.9%) and people without a high school diploma (18.7%).  58% of college graduates and people with some college or associate’s degrees reported being “very satisfied” with their jobs compared to 50% of high school graduates and 40% of people without a high school diploma. 
Why College isn’t Necessary to be Successful
In general, succeeding without going to college is possible. After all, not all employers require degrees, and not all college graduates are employed. However, in some instances, the absence of a college degree can hinder benefits such as more career opportunities and higher lifetime earnings.
Going to College Does Not Guarantee a Job
Other than a job, there is one more thing that finishing college can’t guarantee: a job in a field related to one’s degree. As a matter of fact, based on an online survey, 25.5% of college graduates say they were unable to find a job in their field.
For most degree holders, it usually takes three to six months after college graduation before they get a job — it may be longer for those who are not persevering enough to get employed or whose majors are not that in demand.
Not All Careers Require a College Degree
As much as 36% of all available jobs do not require education beyond high school. So, in other words, a little more than one-third of job positions that need to be filled can be filled by those who have no college degrees.
But it doesn’t necessarily mean that degree holders will not attempt to get their hands on those available job positions — about 41% of recent college graduates are underemployed in that they are working in jobs that don’t require the titles they earned spending years in college after high school.
Some Employers Prefer Skills to Degrees
No matter the case, the point is that your resume should be able to impress the potential employer in front of you in no time. And it should also include all relevant skills. For most employers, college education and the skill set are of equal importance. But in the absence of a degree, having phenomenal skills may help you land that job.
There are Many Alternatives to Going to College
Worry not if you are absolutely sure that college is not for you and don’t want to break the heart of your folks either. It’s for a fact that there are many other ways to acquire the knowledge and skills you will need to have a bright future other than spending the next four to six years of your life on a traditional campus.
- Vocational school. Also sometimes referred to as a career school or trade school, a vocational school is a place where students learn skills specific to certain jobs.
- Technical school. Many believe that technical schools and community colleges are the same. However, a technical school is more on industry-specific courses, like business, engineering and construction.
- Online professional certificates. Some professional certificates available online are free, while others come with a price tag. Most of them can help make you eligible for entry-level jobs.
- Boot camps. In this digital age, coding boot camps are popular among job seekers who wish to work as computer programmers in no time — there are also boot camps available for various fields.
- Job training program. There are jobs that require candidates to undergo a short training program that can be completed in just a few weeks or a couple of months before they could start working.
- Fellowship or apprenticeship. Some careers available for people with a high school diploma require learning under the hands of an expert, such as electrical work or construction.
- Military. Joining the military is a great way to learn real-life skills and travel, too. While enriching your skill set and life experience, it also gives you the opportunity to be noble and serve your country.
- Volunteer. Like being in the military, volunteering also makes it possible for you to gain an assortment of skills. It also enables you to discover the things you are passionate about.
College Degree isn’t Mandatory to Start Business
Plenty of Successful People Have No Degrees
That device you are using, social media you are posting on, TV show you are watching, music you are singing to or hamburger you are eating could be a courtesy of someone who did not graduate from college.
- Better employability. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the employment rate for college degree holders aged 25 to 34 years old is 86%.
Many Successful Leaders Don’t Have College Degrees
1. Steve Jobs: Steve Jobs went to Reed College for computing but dropped out after just one semester. After spending some time in India, he went on to build one of the most powerful and influential companies today: Apple.
4. Michael Dell: Dell went to college because his parents wanted him to become a doctor. But during school, he started a side gig refurbishing computers that became so successful, he dropped out after one year.
5. Rachael Ray: Believe it or not, Rachael Ray has no culinary training or any degree for that matter. She used her skills, personality, and tenacity to become the amazing food star that she is today.
6. Henry Ford: Ford left his family’s farm at the age of 16 to move to Detroit and work as an apprentice in a machine shop. He has no formal schooling in engineering or business but went on to revolutionize the automotive and business world.
7. John D. Rockefeller Sr.: Rockefeller, like many of his time, started working at the age of 16 with only some knowledge of bookkeeping. He is known as one of the richest Americans to ever live and founded one of the most successful companies in America, Standard Oil.
8. Steven Spielberg: Spielberg was actually denied acceptance to film school twice. While attending another school, he started as an intern at Universal Studios and began his career that way. He eventually received an honorary degree, 35 years after first attending college.
9. Mary Kay Ash: Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, started her company in 1963 at the age of 45 after decades of watching men get promoted instead of her. Before she started Mary Kay Cosmetics, she was a successful businesswoman much ahead of her time.