A college degree often is seen as the key to launching a successful career.
Granted, both of them put in time at Harvard, but neither actually earned a diploma. You could, in fact, argue that they got their training on the job at Facebook and Microsoft, respectively, even if those are companies of their own founding.
College Does Pay Off Even as the cost of college has risen, though, so has the demand for college graduates — as have the economic penalties for not holding a four-year degree. The differential reflects a shift in the nature of the workplace: For more, read Are U.
Colleges Still A Good Investment? Not a bad deal for a four-year, five-figure investment. Or, if you go to a private university, a six-figure investment: On the flip side, high-school graduates are increasingly being penalized in a knowledge-based workforce.
According to a Pew Research Center study looking at income inequality, high-school graduates have lost significant ground over the decades: However, the old standby, English, is not necessarily the dead-end major that it is often portrayed as being.
Marketing majors also excel in income. The biggest winner of all? Chemical engineering majors, according to a study from the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institute.
On-the-job training is often free — or you may be paid.
Unfortunately, many formal training program have fallen victim to corporate spending cuts, although there are still fields where hands-on training is available. Industries in which guilds and unions dominate, such as construction trades like plumbing, carpentry and electrical, traditionally have had apprentice programs as a means to entering the business.
All three major unions for electricians, for example, offer paid apprenticeships with on-the-job and classroom training.
Similar is training for the growth fields of telecommunications installers and green-energy technicians. These are not casual commitments, though: In fact, the U. Programs resulting from that funding should start appearing over the next few years. Chefs and other kitchen staff often start their careers by learning and earning through a combination of hands-on training and classroom work.
Although culinary school is an option, it is not a requirement. The American Culinary Federation offers formal, multiyear apprenticeshipswhile some vocational training programs place students in internships.
Real-estate brokerages and telephone-sales operations typically offer real-world training. Probably the most extreme form of on-the-job training is entrepreneurship, where starting your own business sends you to the School of Hard Knocks as you figure out how to manage employees, cash flow and inventory while simultaneously marketing your new business and negotiating with suppliers and customers.
The Bottom Line Measured by statistics, the decision to get a four-year degree is a no-brainer. Even if getting a diploma means taking on substantial debt, research suggests that over the course of a career, you will still come out way ahead financially, even if you opt for the most expensive route, which is a private college.
However, you are an individual — not a statistic — and where your interests, ambitions and aptitudes lie should ultimately determine your approach to higher education and whether your career path begins through academia or with real-world experience.Among U.S.
Colleges and Universities by Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. Lumina Foundation CEO Jamie Merisotis explains why college remains a good investment for students and offers three ideas for improving it.
With student debt mounting, you may ask, Is college worth it?
Here's how to decide what's right for you – on-the-job training or college. There is no greater financial investment in one’s future than a college degree. While this viewpoint has its critics, the reality is the value of a degree has never been greater.
Despite public questions about a degree’s worth, the pay gap between college graduates and . The Power of Focus for College Students: How to Make College the Best Investment of Your Life Paperback – International Edition, November 15, Is a College Education Worth it?
Read pros and cons in the debate.