College: a prestigious institute of higher learning. A place where some students go after high school to earn a degree and eventually qualify for a quality job to support themselves and their future families. But is it worth it? There are some people that are under the impression that college is just a place where people go for tens of thousands of dollars to party, have sex and end up in debt. Receiving a degree is just essentially a really expensive piece of paper.
When you look at a list of some of the richest people from the United States you’d come across names like David Geffen, who owns the animation movie company DreamWorks; Micky Arison, who started Carnival Cruises and owns the professional basketball team the Miami Heat; Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. All have a net worth of $5.5 billion, $4.2 billion, $7 billion and $17.5 billion, respectively. Not only that but they have one other thing in common: they all either dropped out of college or never attended in the first place.
Now after looking at some special cases let’s look at the statistics. Here are the average yearly wages per education level for people who work full year jobs.
No High School Diploma $25,000
High School Diploma $35,000
Some College, no Degree $39,500
Associate Degree $44,000
Bachelor’s Degree $55,500
Master’s Degree $70,000
Doctorate Degree $96,000
With a minimum wage job someone working in the United States would make $15,080 annually. Everyone, even those who don’t even graduate high school, on average, make more than the yearly minimum wage. That sounds great statistically but then you have to add $13,500 per year for every child and realize that living off of $25,000 even up to $40,000 a year is difficult for Americans.
Next, I would just like to make it very clear that if you graduate college you will undoubtedly have a better chance at a financially stable life than those who don’t. Now I’m sure you’re asking, “Well what about all the people who got rich and didn’t earn a college degree? Why can’t I do that?” but to that I say, sure, there are successful people that didn’t need college but I hate to break it to you, those people were incredibly driven and had extremely innovative ideas. Sadly, as much as I hate to say it, the majority of people are not like them and won’t make nearly as much in their lives. Unless you’ve already got some sort of high paying job lined up, employers are looking for people with credentials. And that’s exactly what, if nothing else, a college degree will give you.