laura’s blog

Paper 1 Draft

Laura Tolkamp


Journalism- paper 1 draft 1

10 September 2009

Degrees and Debt

Each year, thousands of students graduate from college and enter into the workforce, but jobs are scarce because of the current economic situation. New graduates are competing against older, more experienced people for the same jobs, but there are few to be found. Students are graduating with thousands of dollars in debt and they have no way to pay the loans off unless they obtain a decent paying job. The number of student loans is at a ten-year high because people are unable to make the money to pay back the loans. Money is a major concern for Americans right now, especially those who are faced with the choice of college and debt, or working and immediate income.

One option is to not go to college. A student who graduates from high school and enters the workforce will be making money right away and not be in debt. It will most likely not be a very high paying job, but the worker will have an income. A student who goes on to college is not making much of an income, if at all, and the amount of debt overshadows the small earnings. There have been numerous studies showing that the average college graduate makes a considerable amount more than the average high school graduate, but if the college graduate cannot get the job she was trained to do, pay back the loans and start earning a decent salary, is the degree worth it?

Another option is to delay college for a few years and go back to school after making enough money to pay the way through college without debt. It is very difficult to decide to go back to school once one has been out of school for some years, so this plan often backfires.

One more option would be to go to college and hope for the best. Maybe the economy will turn around in the few years the student is in school and millions of jobs are created. Many people are going back to college to obtain new degrees because there are no jobs to be found with their current degree. Again, is it worth is or even smart to be spending large amounts of money on something that is not an absolute guarantee of income?

The best way to look at a college degree is an investment in the future. Even with the dire economic news college graduates are making more money in the long run and are more satisfied with their careers than those who decide to join the workforce straight out of high school. A college degree is not just a money issue and should not be looked at strictly from a money standpoint.