College

        As seniors, most of the class of 2014 is probably thinking about one specific thing: college. Where do we want to go? Who do we want to be? Our lives will be determined by our graduate status and achievement level in college. Jobs will be offered to the person with the most work experience and college experience, so education past high school is incredibly important. But, colleges don’t tell us a few thing like if the food is really good there, or which major is better when it comes to student loans. It is quite interesting to discover how much goes into student loans. Some loans are payed off over ten or fifteen years, while others can take up to thirty or forty years. Just think, that’s a lifetime of loans being payed off. That is money that you will need to spend every month after college, along with water bills, electric bills, rent, and cars. Student loans must be looked at closely, specifically at the return on investment (ROI).  “ROI is used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. ROI and related metrics provide a snapshot of profitability, adjusted for the size of the investment assets tied up in the enterprise. ROI is often compared to expected (or required) rates of return on money invested.” (From Wikipedia). So, the percentages of these outcomes shows the percent of return of investment. Sometimes, these percentages are quite low. And it really depends on which degree and which major you choose. For example, look at the chart below for the major of Sociology. 

SOCIAL WORKER
Median Salary: $47,121
30-Year Earnings: $2,779,195
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 73%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 21%

CORRECTIONS OFFICER
Median Salary: $39,630
30-Year Earnings: $2,337,376
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 61%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 18%

CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY COUNSELOR
Median Salary: $47,210
30-Year Earnings: $2,784,444
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 73%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 21%

(You can click on the job or the salary for more information on that specific topic.)

These numbers are merely averages and means, but they aren’t looking too spiffy, at least not for private colleges. These percentages are incredibly low, showing that sociology is not having the greatest amount of return of investment. Let’s look at another example, maybe of psychology. 

HUMAN SERVICES WORKER
Median Salary: $22,738
30-Year Earnings: $1,341,086
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 35%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 10%

CAREER COUNSELOR – HIGHER EDUCATION
Median Salary: $43,384
30-Year Earnings: $2,558,787
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 68%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 20%

BEREAVEMENT COORDINATOR
Median Salary: $52,200
30-Year Earnings: $3,078,754
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 81%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 24%

Psychology is an intended major for what seems to be a lot of people in the school. Yes, it is interesting, but as the charts show, it might not be so profitable if you apply for student loans. Here is where I think all these figures tie in: our economy is in a rut; it is hard for college students to find a job after college anyway, and now I find out that student loans are sucking people dry. There isn’t really anything political to be done about this, but the promises that the economy is going to get better must be carried through. People need to get jobs that can support a family and other loans instead of running people into the ground with debt. These student loans are just one thing that show us how the “real world” is going to be. And maybe, we need some perspective. I know that I live in a sheltered world where I am privileged enough to go to a private school and get a great education with great benefits. But some people don’t get that. And when we all move into college and get out of our comfort zones, we are going to realize that. But shouldn’t we be realizing the situation we are getting ourselves into before we are put in the situation? We need to be prepared, and I think that this article brings to light many truths about how life for us is going to be in the future. As a class, and as a generation, we need to become more aware and try extra hard to make things better. Things cannot just be promised to us without a follow through. And as a people we need to hold those higher authorities accountable. These numbers are jaw-dropping. And I don’t want to have to look at my life when I’m 40+ and wonder what it would be like if I could have a better job and not have to pay off loans from so long ago. I’m not sure the exact solution to this problem, but I do know there has to be one, and we should to figure it out soon.

Source: http://www.salary.com/8-college-degrees-with-the-worst-return-on-investment/slide/9/

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