College isn’t for everyone. That’s the gist of a new study, which says that college only makes financial sense if you get a degree related to the career you plan to be in.
But for a whopping 1 in 5 students, college is probably not worth it, because there’s a negative return on your investment. In other words, a bachelor’s degree may increase your lifetime earnings, but the increased earnings don’t make up for the money you spent getting that degree.
In fact, 1 in 7 people with a high school diploma earn more than college grads. One reason is because getting a job right out of high school gives you a 4-year head-start on someone who went to college.
Also, most college grads start out owing an average of $27,000 dollars in student loans. And a lot of college grads with degrees in the arts, like acting, never end up working in “the arts” and instead, get stuck in low-wage jobs.
But the truth is, not all non-degree jobs are low-wage. In fact, just the opposite is true. The most in-demand jobs of the future pay very well, and don’t require a college degree. The careers that are growing fast, and need more people include: Trades like plumber, mason, and carpenter, which is growing at a rate of 56-percent, as well as jobs like legal or medical secretary, which is growing at a rate of 41-percent. Plus, a lot of high-tech jobs don’t require a college degree, either, like “diagnostic medical monographer,” because you can learn everything you need to know at a vocational school in just a few months.
So if you’re weighing whether or not to go to college, keep in mind that the hottest jobs of the future will be high-paying, and take a lot of smarts, but they don’t require a degree.