Is education worth the cost?

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Higher education is a very reliable road toward financial prosperity for graduates, despite competing arguments on whether college is worth the cost. As a product of college graduates' voting habits, the discourse always takes a partisan turn (Bennett and Wilezol 234). When the world is in debt to the tune of more than a trillion dollars, it is possible to lose sight of the value of a college degree. College graduates, on the other hand, have higher lifetime earnings than people without a degree and are more employable. This paper discusses that considering the high cost of pursuing a college degree, it is still worthwhile. The important thing to note is that few individuals pay the actual price for college. There is a range of means through which universities and colleges, as well as the federal government, make it easy to attend college (Bennett and Wilezol 235). A college education one of the conventional ways to advance your income power and a family’s financial condition, in the future and currently. If a family has been in financial hardship, obtaining a college education will provide the opportunity to increase the earnings, gain financial independence for the family, and improve the financial situation in future.

Recently, a study conducted in Georgetown University indicated that as the economy becomes more knowledge-based and less industrial, there has been a dramatic increase in the demand for employees who are college degree holders. In 1973, 72 percent of occupations needed a high-school education or less (Jackson and Reynolds 338). In 2010, that figure reduced to 41 percent, and projection by 2020 has it at 36 percent. College graduates receive 84 percent more in earnings during their lifetimes as compared to high school graduates. As a college graduate, the possibility that one will find a job is much higher than a non-graduate even during these times when the economy is tough. Normally, the unemployment rate for college graduates is nearly half in comparison with that for high school graduates, and this statistics is true today (Jackson and Reynolds 338). If one has a college education, one is far more likely to secure a job that is fulfilling and pleasurable for the whole life.

Bad fate is sealed for the workforces who have no college training and is worsening even more quickly than the fate of their counterparts with college degrees (Jackson and Reynolds 338). Therefore, people have found themselves in a situation where they have to choose between paying to attend college over a small portion of their lifetime than confront a greater possibility of being unemployed for a long period of time. In that tradeoff, people choose going to college.

It is true that wages are falling. However, the fall is lower for those without degrees. Between 2001 and 2013, the decline in the average wage was at about 10 percent for workers having a Bachelor's degree, and 8 percent for those qualified with high school diplomas (Leonhardt 14). Even with those drops, employees possessing a college degree will still earn approximately 75 percent more as compared to high school graduates, and this payoff is big over a lifetime. Workers possessing a bachelor's degree earn approximately 1 million dollars above high school level graduates: those having associate's degrees normally earn approximately 325,000 dollars more in a lifetime.

Many employers demand college degrees. Only 34 percent of jobs in America demand a high-school-level diploma or less as at the year 2017, in comparison to 72 percent in the early 1970s (Leonhardt 14). At the recession period between 2007 and 2010, there was a rise by 187,000 of jobs that needed college degrees and a fall by 1.75 million those that required associate degrees. Jobs that required high school diplomas or less deflated by 5.6 million in number. A study conducted in June 2016 portrays 99 percent of the growth in jobs between the year 2010 and year 2016 went to workers having Bachelor’s or associate’s degrees (Leonhardt 14). Founded on the economy as well as projections of jobs calculated in 2018 by a university in Georgetown, about 63 percent of jobs in future will demand some degree or college-level education.

College-level graduates make more money as pointed out by Jackson and Reynolds (345). In 2016, average earning for individuals above the age of 25 and above with diplomas from a high school was 35,615 dollars, while those possessing a Bachelor's was 65,482 dollars, and 92,525 dollars for workers having advanced-level degrees (Jackson and Reynolds 345). Families headed by a holder of a Bachelor's degree registered a median of 100,096 dollars in income in the year 2011 which was twice that of a graduate of high school level. The median rise in earnings concerning accomplishing the first year in college was registered at 11% while the senior-level year was 16 percent in the year 2007.

College graduates are exposed to more and better job opportunities. In January 2017, the level of unemployment for college-level graduates with 25 years and above holding a bachelor's was recorded as 2.5%. For individuals with college or associate's degrees, it was 3.8%, 5.3 percent for graduates at the high school stage, and 7.7% for those who dropped before completing high school. In 2015, the unemployment rate was 6.2% for college graduates, 12.9% for high school level graduates, and a further 18.7% for those having no diploma from high school (Jackson and Reynolds 345). 58% of associate’s degree holders and college graduates reported being very content in their work compared to40% of persons lacking a high school diploma and 50% of high school graduates.

College graduates have the higher probability of getting health insurance as well as retirement plans. 70% of graduates at college level had a right of entry, in the year 2008, to insurance provided by employers against high school level graduates at 50% in the same category (Jackson and Reynolds 346). 70 percent of college-level graduates with 25 years and above could easily access retirement plans, measured against those who held associate degrees at 65 % in a similar rating, 30% of those who dropped from high school, and 55% of high school graduates in 2008.

College allows people to learn interpersonal and social skills. Students have the chance to interrelate with their colleagues and faculty, in order to be part of clubs and student organizations and to participate in debates and discussions. Referring to Arthur Chickering's “seven vectors” student development theory, developing interpersonal relationships which are mature makes one of the seven steps of the progress students go through in the college. A 1994 survey involved eleven thousand college students. Here "interpersonal skills" got rated as one of the most vital skills widely employed in a student’s daily life (Jackson and Reynolds 346). American children have parties in college. Partying is not a waste of time as people think; with its use, they enhance their social skills. They learn the manner in which to interact with one other. They develop superb skills that enable them to become innovative. Americans is known as the most innovative nation in the world due to their efficient education system.

College graduates live longer and are healthier. The report shows that 83 percent of college level graduates indicated having excellent health, whilst the same report was obtained from 73% of high school graduates (Jackson and Reynolds 347). In 2008, the total adults who were smokers were 20%. 9% was made of college graduates. 63% college graduates aged between 25 and 34 reported getting engaged in a vigorous exercise in a week more than once in comparison to 37% of graduates at high school level (Jackson and Reynolds 347). College degrees are connected to decrease in blood pressure in a 30-year peer-reviewed research as well as reduced levels of cortisol. This is evidence from a Carnegie Mellon Psychology wing study. 23 percent of college-level graduates between the ages of 35 and 44 were considered obese as compared to 37 percent of their high school graduate counterparts. On average, high school graduates have a shorter lifespan than college-level graduates by a whopping 6 years.

College graduates depict poverty rates lower than the high school-level graduates. The poverty rate for individuals with bachelor's degree got recorded 4% in 2008. High school graduates recorded 12% poverty rate. In 2005, the probability of married couples holding bachelor-level degrees and who were below the line of poverty was 1.8 percent (Jackson and Reynolds 347). Associate's degree holders 2.7%, 4.6% for couples having any college education, as well as high school level graduates had 7.1% in a similar ranking. As held by the American Census Bureau, 1 percent of graduates at the college level participated in a social support scheme such as National School Lunch Program, Medicaid, and food stamps in comparison to 8 percent of high school level graduates in the year 2008.

College graduates portray high productiveness and efficiency as members of society. President Emeritus of Northwestern University, Henry Bienen, explains college level education results into to better citizenship, more productivity, good health, and low crimes for people who are more educated. A research carried out in the year 2009 discovered 16 to 25-year-olds who dropped out of high school exhibited 63 percent probability of getting incarcerated in comparison to those who held a bachelor's level degree or better education (Jackson and Reynolds 348). The Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that during the period between 2008 and 2009, 43 percent of college level graduates performed volunteer work against 19 percent of high school level graduates as well as 27 percent of adults generally.

College students are exposed to a variety of people as well as ideas. Students attend classes, socialize and live with their colleagues from all over the globe and pick up from lecturers with various expertise experiences. The population of people on college campuses portrays that students exhibit the perspective to have diversified friends and create business networks, and, possibly, meet their potential spouse. Accessing people from various places enables college students appreciate and learn about a variety of personalities, cultures, and religions which they would have never had the chance to get exposed to during the entirety of their lives. This aspect widens their information store as well as their viewpoints of the entire world and its varying cultures. 70.7 percent of college portrays in the year 2015 said that they anticipated meeting people from a different ethnic group or race from theirs while in college (Jackson and Reynolds 348). 59.1 percent expected college would assist them to enhance their comprehension of other cultures as well as social values in different countries.

To conclude, college education is worth the high cost involved in obtaining it. Even though there have been issues of unemployment with regards to college graduates, the advantages of this tertiary education far outweigh its demerits, one of the pros being the fact that it lowers poverty levels. The training increases the probability of getting employment because many employers require college degrees. Additionally, college degree holders make more money, and live healthier and longer. Furthermore, the individuals will have more likelihood of getting health insurance and retirement plan. Moreover, people with college education show increased participation in their position as members of a society.

Works Cited

Bennett, William John, and David Wilezol. Is College Worth It?: A Former United States Secretary of Education and a Liberal Arts Graduate Expose the Broken Promise of Higher Education. Thomas Nelson Inc, 2013.

Jackson, Brandon A., and John R. Reynolds. "The Price of Opportunity: Race, Student Loan Debt, and College Achievement." Sociological Inquiry, vol. 83, no. 3, 2013, pp. 335-368.

Leonhardt, David. "Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Say." The New York Times, vol. 5, no. 27, 2014, p. 14.

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