Do you really need a degree from a brick and mortar university to make good money? It’s a familiar slogan, but some people are starting to question this received wisdom. And with the recent boom in online training, there is a huge transformation in the industry.
Not a Golden Ticket?
College graduates over the past few years are finding out the hard way that getting an expensive degree doesn’t mean you’re going to get a great job.
- Many college students drop out, and others end up in jobs that don’t require a degree.
- With skyrocketing college costs and declining household wealth, total student debt is now over $1 trillion.
- Degree return-on-investment studies often overlook the cost and students’ innate intellectual ability.
- College graduate earning figures vary widely based on field of study and which schools they attended.
- Most graduates have a student debt of nearly $30,000 each on average.
Recently, dozens of states began investigating for-profit colleges for saddling students with massive debt without providing profitable skills. The federal government is also starting to crack down on for-profit colleges.
So, when you take into account a variety of factors, for many people the return on investment on degrees is just not there.
Break Out of the Old Ways
Guess what? You don’t need to invest four to six years of your life and $40,000 to $80,000 to get a degree to make yourself employable.
Have you done a return-on-investment analysis on the time and money you spend on degrees before you embark on that journey? Think about what you really need. You’ve already learned the basics in high school. After that it should be about specialization, not the generalization you get with a four-year degree.
Another thing to consider is that the traditional college format doesn’t fit well with the way people learn. People prefer micro learning: shorter, bite-sized learning.
How much do you really learn sitting in a huge classroom listening to an endless lecture? Most of the learning doesn’t happen in those expensive, time-consuming college courses. It really happens with people you work with, informal online training, and other free learning sources on the web.
Are you prepared to go tens of thousands of dollars in debt for most of your adult life to get a piece of paper that may or may not get you the career you want?
Career Skills Certification
So the return on investment of college may be overblown, it’s prohibitively expense, and the whole college structure may not be for you. What now?
Two ideas: skills certification and online training.
You can get a career certificate in IT Skills or acquire an Allied Healthcare Certification. Why not take a short certification program on critical business skills that gives you the professional polish to get promoted?
Why spend money and time on classes you don’t want or need? Career skills certification is a great way to get just the knowledge and skills you need for a specific career and bypass the filler.
If you’re not rich and you don’t want to take out thousands of dollars in debt every year, you can’t afford to not work while you’re going to school. This is where eLearning comes in: Take your courses anytime, anywhere you get an Internet connection. It’s easy to fit into your schedule. David Blake writes, “The benefit of modern, online education is that the burden of logistics and infrastructure are greatly reduced, allowing for the potential of a fluid, lifelong education model.”
Education is the key to great careers and high earning potential, but there’s more than one way to get it. It’s the 21st Century, the Internet Age. Don’t get trapped in old assumptions about expensive college degrees. Before committing tons of money and several years of your life to traditional college education, take a look at career skills certification as a fast track to the career you really want.
360training.com offers Career Training Programs in Business, Social Media, Medical and Fitness, Culinary and Nutrition, Real Estate, Legal, and IT Career fields. Also available are funding sources for groups such as active duty military soldiers, dependents, and spouses.
- TIME: The Case Against College Education
- Education Policy Center. Degrees of Value: Evaluating the Return on the College Investment
- U.S. News and World Report: Explore College Debt vs, Degree ROI
- CNN Money: States, federal government cracking down on for-profit colleges
- TechCrunch: Jailbreaking the Degree