Now that more colleges and universities are publishing information about what their graduates make years later, it’s debatable if a four-year degree is right for everyone (“Colleges Can Avoid Shutting the Door on Financial Aid Knowledge,” The New York Times, Mar. 18). What’s not debatable is that if a degree is measured solely in financial terms, a vocational curriculum combined with an apprenticeship is a better choice for many.
I say that because college today is so expensive. Unless students major in STEM and perhaps accounting, they will not likely recoup their investment for many years later. Moreover, the years spent in class are years without the income that a steady job provides. Welders today, for example, make $125,000 without a degree. That’s good money, and they are not burdened with debt. So I urge more students to consider a vocational curriculum.
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One Reply to “College doesn’t always pay off financially”
If the impact on one’s financial situation were the only criterion in deciding between vocational training and traditional college education, then I agree that, for many, vocational ed is the better choice. But plumbers, mechanics, electricians, carpenters, painters, etcetera are just as capable and just as deserving of a life made richer by an interest in, even a passion for any of the liberal arts – music, literature, painting, sculpture, the sciences, history, philosophy, etcetera – as college graduates. The problem, it seems to me, is that the choice is binary.