College or Work after High School? Tell Me Please!


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One of the toughest career decisions for high school students and their parents is whether to get a job and settle down in that for the rest of their lives or to continue their studies in college. Three to five decades up the line, this would not have been a question at all that would make you lose sleep. The post World War II era saw many industries flourish and needing workers to “man" their businesses. That was when they took high school graduates and trained them for routine jobs, mostly on factory floors.

The Present Scenario: Will It Support High School Graduates?

The rise of technological advances, fast paced work styles catering to newfound lifestyles and the latest buzzword globalization in the last two decades has changed the present job market scenario entirely.

High school children of WW II veterans who got easy jobs were trained by their employers for specific jobs. This is obviously is a far cry from the situation today. Time, competition and budgets do not permit such on job training any more. Employers and new age industry captains are looking for college graduates for specialized jobs. For example: jobs like healthcare workers and software engineers can only be taken by those who are college trained because of their specific courses.

It could unfortunately be harsh on those can not afford an extra 3-4 years of college. But in reality, high school graduates are more and more relegated to low end physical or routine non-challenging mundane jobs where entry-level salaries and growth opportunities are far from being lucrative.

But A College Degree Is Expensive and It Is Another 4 Years!

A recent survey suggested that the average employee changes jobs about 7 times in his or her career. The apparent reason is growing opportunities for trained and educated employees. But if you took a deeper look, employers are not in any position to wait for employees to train on the job. They seek candidates with pre-developed skills that match the job requirements, resulting in a soaring demand for college graduates.

It is obvious that education opens new vistas of faster and better growth. Education loans from the Federal Government or private banks can help open your first job account with almost double the paycheck. College graduates have a better scalability factor in their careers than others. A $40,000 loan for a 4-year college degree can be easily paid back in 10 years including the 5% interest. The fact that the 4 years you spend in college plus the $40,000 can be made good in the next 3-4 years easily should stand as unbeatable testimony in favor of college education. The United States Census states that college graduates, in their career, will earn $2.1 million against $1.2 million for high school grads.

Unless there is some thing else that you know, all indicators point in favor of college. Higher raises, promotions, and postgraduate education- flights of progress- all require just one platform, and that is college graduation.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions Six Sigma Online ( ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.


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