With two months left in college, I was disillusioned. Spending time in the library had entirely lost it’s appeal and group projects were my bane. In October 2011, dropping out seemed like the best option. After all, what good is an Entrepreneurship degree going to be?
Working on the internet, my heroes are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. Their track seemed to indicate that success comes by dropping out and starting a bleeding-edge technology company. And that’s exactly what I wanted to do.
As it turns out, failing to receive a bachelors degree would’ve been a statistically terrible decision. Here’s why…
Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce just released a report as covered by The Atlantic. During the recent recession, jobs available for a worker with a bachelors degree rose by 187,000. After all of the doom that we heard on TV (some of which wasn’t exaggerated), educated jobs INCREASED. On the other hand, workers who only earned a high school education lost 5.6 million jobs. 5,600,000. Even worse, as the economy has rebounded, those jobs haven’t returned. Look at the blue line before. While a few million educated jobs have been added since the recovery began, the outlook for a high school education is bleak.
Certainly college graduates have been affected by the recession as new workers often start working in positions that don’t require their training. People are graduating with advanced degrees (I’m looking at you, Clinical Psychology) and finding themselves forced to wait tables. This situation isn’t uncommon for millions of younger people in a tough job market, but at least there are jobs to be worked.
Working in a job that doesn’t demand your skills is demoralizing. But the day you receive a diploma, your expected earnings double. That makes a University education a pretty good investment, even at $40,000+.
The bottom line is that today if you’re planning to work in the United States and hope to make a decent living, you need to finish college. The report’s conclusion is telling:
In jobs at every skill level and in many different occupations, the better-educated applicant has the edge…For students and their parents who are contemplating whether higher education is a good value, these findings make clear that the answer is a resounding yes.
What about you?
Are you going to finish college? Thinking about dropping out?