College isn't for everyone and in fact it may be the worst option for students who do not thrive in academic environments.
Many people think going to college immediately after high school is the next best option. But in reality, attending college post-high school may not be what everyone needs for many reasons.
If you are about to graduate from high school and you wonder what next step to take, if college is worth your time and money, or if there are other options available, you are in the right place.
In this article, we will look at why you may be better off not attending college after high school and walk you through other options that could be more rewarding.
Let's get started.
Before you decide to attend college after high school, it's best to understand its potential downsides. Find out the possible disadvantages of attending college post-high school below:
College cost is a significant downside to attending college after high school. For example, an in-state student studying in a public institution spends about $25,615 on college costs per year. In comparison, a student attending a private institution spends about $53,949 every academic year in the United States.
This means that within four years, you would have spent between $102,460 to $215, 796 depending on the type of college you attend. Also, because college costs keep increasing every year, it may become difficult to keep up even if you can acquire a part-time scholarship and get other forms of financial aid.
College can be time-consuming. For example, the least amount of time you can earn a bachelor's degree is about three to four years. And you could make the best use of this time by learning practical skills or joining the workforce.
Also, while spending four years in college may be a fair deal, only 41% of students succeed in spending exactly that amount of time. Many students are held back for several reasons, such as the inability to pay their fees.
For example, students who plan to reduce their student loan debt before graduation tend to cut out classes to have more time to work, which ultimately leads to extra years in college.
Due to the high cost of college tuition, you may find it challenging to pay for college yourself, which means you resort to student loans to cover your tuition expenses.
However, the downside to this is that it may leave you with substantial student loan debt after school. Depending on your student loan repayment plan, you may end up struggling with your student loan debt for the next 30 to 40 years after college.
This could mean putting off your life goals. Because if you have to pay off a significant amount of student loans debt every year, you may not be able to pursue other goals until you can pay them off.
Additionally, defaulting on paying your student loans debt can damage your credit score. A bad credit score can negatively impact your life by reducing the quality of job you qualify for and having you pay more for every expense you make, including mortgages and car loans.
The reality is, while many people go to college, very few work in their career field or work in a job that demands a degree. According to some research, only 27% of college graduates have a job related to their field, and about 41% of recent college graduates work in jobs that do not require a degree.
This happens because many college graduates struggle to find jobs after college due to the consistent increase in the number of students who earn a degree every year. Therefore, there is a tough competition for jobs, and college graduates have to divert from their careers to find employment in less competitive fields.
Attending college requires a high level of discipline and commitment. Whether you are studying online or between the four walls of a classroom, you will have to struggle between attending classes and other adulting responsibilities.
You’ll have weeks filled with deadlines, tests, and examinations, which can be challenging, especially if you have extracurricular interests.
Additionally, college requires a high level of accountability. Without it, you will find yourself lagging behind and constantly trying to keep up with many tasks. The stress of attending classes, keeping up with deadlines, and working to earn good grades make college a strenuous experience.
In the past, you needed a college degree to acquire many skills, but not anymore. Many high-paying skills only require training specific to these skills, not college courses.
For example, specific skills like graphic designing, software development, and digital marketing do not need formal college training. Skilled artisans like plumbers, locksmiths, and electricians do not require college degrees.
If you attend college to acquire these skills, you may have to take additional training to learn these skills hands-on. These days, there are many options available to learn these skills without being in a classroom.
So, if you plan to learn specific digital and trade skills, then college may not be the right choice for you.
You may consider an apprenticeship, attending a trade school, taking related classes online, or training from experts in these fields instead.
Many students would like to always have A’s in their tests, but many factors make this impossible. Due to genes, mental health conditions, or a lack of interest, it is possible that a formal education system laden with tests and deadlines might be challenging.
Imagine being passionate about entrepreneurship or art and having to endure hours of lectures and assignments. Many careers require creativity, human management, and other life skills not always taught in school. This makes college an inadequate training ground for these types of students. Also, it could be depressing trying to compare your scores to those who have more resources to prepare for tests.
So, if you realize you aren't doing great academically and have other interests, college may not be for you. Consider acquiring practical experience from experts in these areas or starting your business instead.
Many employers consider experience as the best qualification any candidate can have. This is because, unlike degrees, having sufficient practical experience in a field is proof you can perform your role excellently when employed.
Nowadays, businesses understand that acquiring a degree doesn't mean candidates will do better in their jobs than candidates who do not have a degree. They understand that while theoretical knowledge can be helpful, experience does the work.
Additionally, jobs that require creative thinking and soft skills don't require educational qualifications. So, employers in these fields look for candidates who possess the soft skills and creativity required to get a job done rather than college degrees.
So, acquiring experience rather than a degree may give you an edge when starting a career and seeking job opportunities. The many ways you can gain experience include apprenticeship, internships, and venturing directly into the career of your choice.
By doing this, you will gain practical experience in your field, learn, and improve your skills to qualify higher for jobs in the future.
It’s possible to have a college degree and still be in a job that doesn’t pay much. Contrary to what many people think, a certificate isn’t an automatic pass to a high-paying job.
Most times, your pay depends on the type of college you attend and your major while in college. For example, an engineering student may receive higher pay than an English student, and students who attend expensive schools may attract higher-paying jobs.
So, for many college students, expectations don't always match reality. In most cases, you may find people who don't go to college earn more for their skills.
What is the truth?
College is not a prerequisite for success; there are many other ways to acquire training apart from college. For example, you can enjoy free education and vocational training by joining the Job Corps, Americorps, and Peace Corps. These agencies understand that there are many ways to be successful, gain experience, and give back to the community, and they provide the necessary resources.
You could also gain experience through apprenticeship; find a mentor in a field you’re interested in and reach out to them for training. You get to learn under an expert and get relevant experience in the process.
Let Adultology Help You
As you try to make your decision, Adultology can be your guide. Adultology is an online learning platform that provides resources such as lectures and ebooks to help you make effective career choices and gain other skills necessary to succeed as an adult.
Start exploring our courses today to make the best decisions as an adult.
Categories: Getting and Managing a Career