It’s amazing what people think a college education can do. That getting a college degree will help you in the real world and help you acquire common sense. Unfortunately, it does nothing of the sort. Take Kelli Space who graduated with a sociology degree. It’s not the degree I have an issue with perse, but it’s the amount of debt. For her undergraduate degree at Northeastern University she spent a whopping $200,000! I know of newly minted doctors and lawyers who’ve spent less than that amount. Yes, that’s more than the median home price in the United States.
You may ask what exactly can you get with a sociology degree? That’s a good question. I had to look it up because I did not know myself. Basically nothing. The list appears to be low entry-level positions that previously you didn’t need a college level education. According to this web page, the average annual salary for a sociology major is $35,173. A salary that isn’t impossible to make in four years without a college education, and the additional benefit of no debt. I think it’s also safe to say the advancement in salary with a sociology degree can’t be that great. A doctor’s salary is definitely not going to happen. I’m not going to spend the effort to calculate the time it would take to pay off her debt, but it’s pretty safe to assume it will take 10+ years.
Mind you, I’m not saying you shouldn’t get a college education. The fact of the matter is with the high cost of education, specific majors, and career paths – it may not make sense to go to college. Everyone’s situation is different. Some might be better off going to a trade school, others maybe not going to college at all. For me getting a computer science degree helped me tremendously. Though the mantra of yesteryear, you should always get a college degree doesn’t make sense.
Keep in mind, a college education may make you book smart, but it won’t make you street smart. Realize the sole purpose of getting a higher education is to advance your income. Like all other investments you should consider your ROI (Return Of Investment). If it takes over 10 years to recoup payment on a higher education, you either you need to:
- Select another major with higher income potential.
- Chose a cheaper college.
When my children get close to college age, we will definitely have this discussion. If I had to pick between a $200k sociology degree, or using the money to invest in a business, I would choose starting a business in a heartbeat. Granted starting a business does not ensure success. Even if they lost all of the $200,000 investment, the education from running a business would be priceless. I’m sure much more than from a sociology degree.