One of the most prestigious Universities in the world; Harvard. But be prepared to pay dearly for attending.
Some years ago, my middle son came to me (when he was in the 6th grade) and unceremoniously informed me that he wanted to be a truck driver when he grew up. Me being the doting father said; ‘no problem son, right after you graduate from college, you can be anything you want to be.’ The fact was, I was stone cold dead serious. That was over 15-years ago, and a 4-year degree from the University of Tennessee ran about $20,000 as he could have lived at home and driven to the campus each day for classes. Today that same degree (4-year) will run double if not more, and at many private Universities such as SMU (Southern Methodist in Dallas) or Baylor in Waco, Texas will run much more than that of most State U’s. Then you have dorm cost, meal plans, parking permits and all the rest that goes into educating our young.
Granted, there are many benefits to a college education. One typically learns about many cultures as you make friends that are from a variety of foreign countries. You take classes where you will (for most degrees) learn philosophy, world or national history courses, the dreaded algebra classes and you can even garner a couple of credits for taking a golf class. A college student is typically on their own for the first time and must learn how to budget their money, pay some bills, and it can be very educational for them in growing into a productive citizen. They even might learn their First Amendment rights as a citizen and participate in boycotting the cafeteria for lousy food or protesting a policy decision by the White House.
Today, because of the dramatic cost of a college education, one must now weigh as to whether or not it is actually worth it from a financial standpoint. A law degree, for instance, will run (more often than not) way into the 6-digit range for tuition cost. Believe it or not, a young Attorney fresh out of law-school more often than not doesn’t earn a very high salary. They must build their clientele, and it takes years to accomplish that task. However, being an Attorney (if you hang with the right crowd) affords you the opportunity to get into politics and opens the doors for many other paths to travel down. The same is very close to being true for becoming a Physician. However, with the MD degree, you can always go to work for a hospital until you get on your feet and these salaries start in the very high 5-digit range up to the low 6-figures (in larger cities). These wages enable you to begin paying back your student loans without being financially crushed.
If you want to earn some very series money with a college degree, get yourself a Masters Degree in Aeronautical or Astronautical Engineering. Do keep in mind that you pretty much have to be a genius to accomplish this and you had better be a prodigy at mathematics. My eldest son is one of the above and a Captain in the Air Force. He is, in fact, a “Rocket Scientist” and you see many of his play toys launch routinely from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California. This degree (without the Air Force) will enable you to obtain immediate employment at companies such as Boeing, Martin, and many more. These guys offer the moon if you sign up with them. One of the reasons why is that it is so challenging to obtain a degree in this field. My son’s classes started out with mostly packed classrooms, and by the time he hit his senior year, there was only a handful left that had begun their education in this field.
Alright, so now we have 3 or possibly a few more fields you can invest vast amounts of cash in and parlay that investment into a lucrative career. So what about the other 8,000 degrees you can get? How about being an elementary school teacher? The same thing, only now you spend $40,000 for your tuition plus other expenses and go into a field that only pay’s about $35,000, to begin with, and you’re strapped with a $300 a month student loan payment for the next 10-years or so. The same holds true for Psychology, any of the generic degrees such as Bachelor of Arts and so on.
We have issues in America today, and one of the most substantial problems is; we are running out of trade professionals!
I’ll give you an example, Diesel Mechanic. You can attend a trade school for one or two years, obtain a diploma in diesel mechanics and almost immediately obtain a position with a Kenworth, Freightliner, Volvo, or Peterbilt dealership for $30-40.00 an hour to start. This is a degree you can get for only a fraction of what a full-blown college education cost you. Plumbers and Electricians are another fields. In many larger cities (particularly up North), you can go to the local Union office for Electricians and get hired as an Apprentice and start work immediately and get trained on the job while being paid for it. My stepbrother is a lineman electrician, and this guy will earn over $100,000.00 this year. Yes, he works hard and is often exposed to inclement weather, but I can purchase quite a few pairs of ear muffs for that sort of money. The same holds true for a Union plumber in a larger city.
Want a clean job making good money? Most any medium to larger city will have a Vo-Tech type of school. Have you been to a Mercedes, Lexus or Cadillac dealership lately? You almost eat off the floor in their service department. The technicians that work on G.M., Ford or most any other brand of automobile are earning salaries that would be competitive with any young Attorney and in most cases, they are making well beyond what a young lawyer earns. These folks start at the mid-high 5-digit range straight out of school.
Something to think about as we enter the new year and our young start searching for careers, colleges and such. Keep this in mind as we sit around the dining room table discussing the future of how to get our beloved Millenials out of the basement and starting their own lives.
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