My wife and I have college degrees. My daughter has a college degree. My son has a college degree and is a college professor. However, I do not think a college degree is the only option for landing a very well-paying job.
Many believe in order to get a high-paying job, you must have a college degree. That is simply not true and certainly not automatic. The reality is millions of Americans currently owe student loans. The numbers continue to escalate, and it generally takes a person many, many years to pay off those loans.
The Stats Are Staggering!
Here’s a quote from an article I recently read:
“You’ve probably heard the statistics: Americans owe over $1.45 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers. That’s about $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt. In fact, the average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year.”
Years ago, while working for CBS radio (where my college degree meant nothing), I talked with numerous interns who were currently in college. I always asked them what their major was, and what they planned on doing after graduation. Sadly, by their answers, I was convinced most of them should have never even entered college.
The mantra, “college degree means a good, high paying job,” has caused many people to acquire massive debt. And after graduation, far too many end up in a job that is not the high-paying job they thought they would have. They then spend years and years trying to pay back their college loans.
There Is Another Option
A few weeks ago I heard a man on the radio relate how he had no college degree but was making a very good six-figure income. He didn’t wear a suit and tie and sit in a cozy cubicle inside a fancy and impressive office building. He was an elevator repairman.
He explained how some people at those fancy and impressive office buildings often mistook him for the janitor or some other non-office type of worker. It didn’t matter to him what anyone else thought. He shared that when he gets home each night, he doesn’t stress about money, and has no college loans to pay off.
There are numerous six-figure jobs that do not require a college degree. Yes, they involve training, but the cost of the training is a fraction of four-year college tuition. What type of jobs?
“Network managers and IT managers employed by companies have stable, 9 to 5 jobs with good salaries, benefits, and retirement accounts. Salaries for IT managers range between $53,477 and $125,101.
Depending upon the city of residence, court reporters can earn between $29,995 and $104,000.
Salaries for construction managers range from $41,562 to $130,845.
Salaries for fire chiefs range from $42,096 to $119,250.
Air traffic controllers command large salaries, up to $158,966 on average.
Plumbers’ salaries can soar as high as $103,731 and beyond, depending on specialties and training.
Radiation therapists must have a two-year associate’s degree or a certificate in radiation therapy, but they don’t need a four-year college degree. Radiation therapists can earn as much as $116,000 a year.”
Let The High Schoolers Know!
I’m not at all against getting a college degree. It is definitely the absolute right and necessary path for some, but not for all. It’s really heartbreaking to see millions carrying so much student loan debt, and still not earning the salary they thought they would because of their college degree.
God expects us to be wise about our finances. In the U.S., student loan debt is 1.4 trillion dollars, and credit card debt is 764 billion dollars. It would seem there is a great lack of understanding regarding money.
Other options besides college should be explained in detail to high schoolers. In addition, our youngsters really need sound biblically based information about money. I highly recommend Roger Braker’s book, Poverty Vs Wealth as a good place to start.
And, if you have debt, I also highly recommend the many tools offered by Dave Ramsey, including Financial Peace University.
I’ve been in debt before, and thankfully, except for my mortgage, I’m debt-free. Anyone in debt knows it’s not freedom; it’s enslaving. Learning about money and finances, and applying sound biblical principles will pay huge dividends, financially and mentally.