The Norman Transcript

Z_CNHI News Service

September 3, 2013

What is a college degree worth in today's job market?

With jobs harder to find, the debate is heating up

(Continued)

The difference, however, may not be evident right away. Graduates could see their compensation grow exponentially as the years pass. While the immediate benefit of a college degree seems nonexistent, the big payoff is typically seen over the course of a long career, the company says.

"TheLadders' study proves that an undergraduate degree is beneficial and promotes growth over time during any career," said Amanda Augustine, job search expert for TheLadders. "If you're wondering whether to go back and finish your four-year degree, this new information encourages you to take the plunge."

Paying for college

First, however, you should figure out how you are going to pay for it. In early 2013 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) estimated the outstanding student loan total in the U.S. exceeded $1 trillion. In a more recent report, the CFPB said over seven million borrowers were in default on federal or private student loans.

The lesson here is to not get over-extended. Know what your costs are going to be, where the money will come from, and if you have to pay it back, how you'll do it.

Finally, there should be a compelling reason to go to college, whether you are going right out of high school or returning after a few years in the military or work force. What are you going to study and how is that going to help you advance in a career?

Without good answers to those questions, experts say you may in fact be wasting money. The job market has changed and doesn't have a rewarding job waiting for everyone who gets a college degree.   

Story provided by ConsumerAffairs.

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