Unless you are an individual who wants to be a professional in an area that requires a bachelor’s degree—spending four years in college is not a worthwhile investment.
Some people believe you must have a bachelor’s degree to get a decent job in today’s society, however, this is not true. There are still several jobs out there that pay the same salary as other jobs that require four-year college degrees. In some cases, the jobs that do not require bachelor’s degrees may pay more than some job’s that require a four-year degree.
This article on Business Insider lists the 40 highest-paying jobs you can get without a college degree. The no. 40 job is a first-line supervisor of correctional officers with a median annual salary of $55,910 and a high school diploma as qualifications. This career guide for first-line supervisors/managers of correctional officers in Virginia states on page three that, “These occupations usually require a high school diploma, some vocational training or job-related course work and security experience.”
Another website reports the median national annual salary for first-line supervisors of correctional officers of the state government at $52,540. Salary.com reports the median national annual salary of an elementary school teacher, a profession that requires a bachelor’s degree, at $52,550. This is a salary of only $10 more.
The article on Business Insider lists the no. 1 highest-paying job you can get without a bachelor’s degree as an air traffic controller with a median annual wage of $108,040 and the qualifications of an associate’s degree.
Aims Community College lists the air traffic control associate of applied science program cost for an in-district student at $9,284, an out-district student at $12,704, and an out-of-state student at $32,979. The estimated semesterly cost of attendance for a freshman at Eastern Michigan University who is a Michigan or Ohio resident and lives on campus is $8,655.95. This means an on-campus freshman student at EMU would pay around $4,607.90 more in one year than what an out-district Aims student would pay for their entire air traffic controller program.
Some people might argue that college is worth it just for the experiences that you will have, especially if you live in an on-campus environment. However, is thousands of dollars of debt in student loans worth “experiences”?
According to an article from the Huff Post, students who graduated in 2010 and took out student loans owed an average of $25,250. However, if you do not go to college, you can start making money by going into the job field immediately, instead of owing money. Even if you choose a field that requires an associate’s degree, the cost is still much lower, as I talked about earlier.
For those of you who cannot easily afford a four-year college education or simply do not find it appealing, it appears that there are options out there that are more financially beneficial. Although a bachelor’s degree may be preferable to someone who needs it to achieve their goals such as becoming a doctor or lawyer, it is not necessary to make enough money for a comfortable living.