Jacob Serfaty

Director of Fundraising & Marketing, Junior State of America

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Does the cost of a college education outweigh it's benefits?

Now a days the tuition for a college education has gone up and has put many students, leaving college, in debt. all of the talk concerning college tuitions have in some way frightened me and have made me question if it is really worth spending so much on college.

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    Jan 29 2012: Jacob, this very discussion is happening on the Linked In Human Resources message board. The consensus among HR professionals is that a degree does not make someone more qualified for a job, but it is essential and mandatory in the eyes of many employers for new hires. There are also people in the conversation who are in their 30's and 40's who do not have a degree and are saying that they really wished they had pursued higher education when they were younger and had the chance.

    I think your question is spot on - is it worth spending SO MUCH to go to college - probably not. Look for a good state school or do a two year program at a local community college, then switch to a four year program. Don'r get yourself into massive debt over a degree.

    Is it worth going to college AT ALL - talk to someone 20 years older than you who has hit a glass ceiling because of their lack of a degree or has recently been laid off and can't find a job at the same level because they lack a degree and they will tell you to get that four year degree NOW.
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    Jan 29 2012: it is easy to demonstrate that it does. the free market ensures that the price of something is close to its value. if the price is too high, people don't buy it.

    enter the state. the state guarantees student loans, subsidies and such. that makes college apparently cheaper, since students don't have to pay the full price. that drives up demand, which obviously drives up the price. at the end, students still pay a price that roughly equals to the value of the service, but they also have to pay bigger taxes and they get in debt later. this is a hidden tuition fee.

    another example of a helping government hand turning into a slap on the face.
  • Jan 31 2012: Whether the cost of your college/university education outweighs the benefits depends on alot of things.

    First how determined you are to finish your degree, are you going to take four or five classes every semester to finish ahead of your peers? Are you willing to sacrifice every moment to live, breathe, and eat education?

    I have plenty fo friends who go to university and take two or three classes a semester, and some of them unrelated to their chosen degree. To me this is a huge waste of money, but to them it's part of the experience. You need to decide what this degree means to you, experience or education?

    Another thing that you would need to look at is the degree itself. I have a friend who graduated with a BA in History and minor in French and polisci, and she's working as a stewardess. Her degree is useless to her in a professional sense.

    Planning out your education takes alot of thought, you need to look at what you're good at and love to do versus what can be financially viable for you, and what can be used in a real world sense. For many people a university degree is a must have to get a job anywhere, and there are still plenty of people who have great careers and no college education. Whether your education is worth the cost depends entirely on the outcomes you want, and how you persue it.
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    Jan 30 2012: Well, sometimes it depend on the region you are living in, I’m going to show you an experience in developing countries or as we are used to hear a lot after war countries. I live in Balkan where education doesn’t matter a lot in official positions, what I’m saying is that you’ve spend a lot of money in high tuition and you’ve spend a lot of afford and energy studying in certain area and when it comes to a specific job position you are applying you are sure that you met the criteria and you apply, I’m saying in official position such as government or public companies and what you get a result is a NO answer because somebody without the proper or any education has taken your place because she or he has somebody in higher position that decided to employee him or her.

    Another idea is that a job announcement for certain position in certain public company before it’s opened in fact somebody has been hired and started working, the opening is just for the regulation and the law that requires them to do so.

    In life it’s always worthy spending high tuition in some education programs or universities that you believe in log future are going payback what you have spend because at the end knowledge is what you can carry with you, other material things such as beautiful houses or beautiful cars are just things can be vanished very fast and what’s you end up with is in your brain is your knowledge.
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    Jan 29 2012: In England, yes.
    A college/university education in this economy holds little benefit and is (based on my experience and according to all of those who I know) has been a hinderance on finding work.
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      Jan 29 2012: I was wondering if you could elaborate on how further education is a hindrance when finding work? What are businesses looking for instead nowadays?
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        Jan 29 2012: Well when it comes to the current English economy, the only general work available is that of lower-level opportunity.
        But as companies only wish to hire those who will stay in the position for long periods of time / forever, hiring someone with a clear education, excessive competence, experience and/or ambition is typically disgarded from the list of potential employees.

        Ofcourse alot of this issue stems from the higher level work having absurd requirements that no person recently introduced to work can possibly match.
        For example: Requiring previous experience in an identical environment, when the only other ones that match such a requirement are those which ALSO require previous experience to the same extent; Essentially not be able to work unless you have experience --Which you can't get because no one will hire you, due to lack of experience.

        Its just one of many examples, all which tend to exist due to companies developing a god-complex due to the large availability of staff (perhaps many are under the impression that the reason why so many ask for work in their company is because their company is apparently one of the best? -Which is ofcourse rarely the case).

        The issue has effected myself and all of those around me, and based on my conversations with many others on TED living in England and others who wish to accomplish something in their lives, its been a significant issue for them aswell and there also seems to be a lack of any government sector that is focused on helping us in the way that we require.
        (Something which is going to be brought up in the next opportunity to meet with the Management of the national government employment-education facilities).
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    Jan 29 2012: You have touched on a very sad state of affairs that our country is experiencing and that it needs some badly needed intervention. The for profit change in our education system as a whole has made things worse for the majority of our students, who end up accumulating outrageous amounts of student debt for a college degree that once obtained cannot really be used to find a job anymore. This is so wrong on so many levels but our government and the for profit entities have allowed this to happen and they are both benefiting at the expense of our students. And I belive that the next bubble to burst is the student loan bubble that keeps growing just like the credit card debt as well. This is even worse considering our current economy situation. You might be better off just learning on your own whatever you can on things that really interst you by accessing the internet, library, and any other free training wherever you can find it. At least for the time being until the government positively addresses the next student debt bubble or until it bursts. If you can find a job no matter what it might be, but hopefully on at least something that you might find intersting, take it and save whatever you can. I'm sorry if I sound pessimistic but our current ecomonic state of affairs is way too bleak. I'm very optimistic that we all will learn at least a lesson on how to cut back on unnessesary things that we can do without. I for example have cut my cable subscription and I haven't looked back, it might not seem like much but i'm saving at least $600-$800 per year if not more. I'm growing some vegetables at home and we are cooking meals at home more often and just by these three things we are saving thousands and are eating and feeling much healthier. And we've done this as a result of these hard times, but at least there are valuable lessons we all can appreciate and learn from, so our glass is looking half full more and more. Good luck n let us know what u've decided