Is college necessary?

Is college necessary?

You don’t need to go to college, at least, not right after high school. For the past couple decades going to college has been drilled into students as a necessity for success, even though it has been priced as a luxury with no intention of dropping its price. In reality, students that believe they should go to college should consider more than just getting a degree.

In the past 40 years, the cost of college has increased at such a high rate, it has surpassed the general rate of inflation.

According to, “Since 1985, the overall consumer price index has risen 115% while the college education inflation rate has risen nearly 500%”.

Looking at costs alone, it is a huge gamble going into college head on, noting the possibility of incurring tens of thousands of dollars in debt without the guarantee of a successful career after college.

In reality, the fact that a degree doesn’t guarantee a job must be the largest part of the college gamble. Imagine spending almost four years of your life, spending thousands of dollars in tuition costs to obtain a degree in an area major, with the belief that it will help you obtain an entry level job in your desired career field. Low and behold, you discover that an undergraduate degree isn’t as necessary anymore since businesses are looking for people with more experience.

The New York Times has stated that “According to economist Andrew Sum of Northeastern University, more than 44 percent of college graduates under 25 who were area studies majors were unemployed in 2009 or working in a job that did not require their degree”.

Nonetheless, not going to college is also a huge gamble on its own. The majority of careers see an undergraduate as a necessity, even though it’s been priced as a luxury.  While it is not extremely difficult to get entry level positions, the majority of businesses require a college degree for promotions and raises.

On the other hand, it makes more sense to obtain an entry level position, create a cushion with a comfortable salary, and then get the degree that will open up the possibility of promotions later in life- especially seeing that the recent influx of educated workers has created a skill gap in manual labor and blue collared jobs that require experience more so than an education.

Consider the STEM field; here has been a surge in the need and demand for engineers in every aspect of society, but with every engineering job presented, several manual labors positions ensue. The average wind turbine technician makes a salary of $51,000 a year, with a twelve-month training program.

While going to college and obtaining a higher degree is a good idea in the long run for certain individuals, going to college immediately after high school might not be the best circumstance. For a lot of people, building a financial cushion and getting an entry level position in the desired field is the best option.