Is college education worth it? After all the money and time I spend which I could use to start my career early?

by tdong1 on April 14, 2014 - 9:18pm

People are very nervous about how to find a job and stay employed. Many believe if they go to college, they can get a better job after they graduate, but is it true? Saving the money and time you would spend in college to look for a job and get a head start is more efficient, is this assumption fair? The answer is: college education does play an important role in whether you could get a job or not. Recent college graduates still face higher unemployment rates than those who graduated many years earlier, but the unemployment rate is still much lower compared to young people who without a college degree.


In the article Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs? (Jaison R. Abel and colleagues., 2014), they have answered these kinds of questions by using and analyzing up to two decades of data. They have collected these data from reliable sources like the U.S. Department of Labor, current population survey, decennial census and American community survey. In their article, they have concluded that the unemployment rate is related to economic recession, for example, there was a high level of unemployment in 2007-2009, but the trend of unemployment rates of different categories of people is similar. It shows that young workers whom are aged 22 to 27 and without a bachelor’s degree or higher, have higher unemployment rates than all the workers which have higher unemployment rates than recent college graduates students whom are aged 22 to 27 with a college degree. The lowest rate from 1990 to 2012 is the college graduate category which contains college graduate workers aged 22 to 65. They also found out that unemployment is also related to age, by comparing three different time periods, their figures show that no matter the overall unemployment rate in each period, recent college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher facing a higher unemployment rate than college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher aged older than 30. They also looked into the issues of underemployment, job quality among the underemployed, and the data shows college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher are doing better than recent college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher. They also summarized the difference between different majors and their employment outcomes.


I found this article is totally worth to read for people who haven’t decide if they are going to college or not, choosing a major or about to graduate and enter the labor market. It proposed a social problem and analyzed it by using data from U.S. Department of Labor which is one of the best places to gather data to answer this kind of problem; it also discussed the question in-depth analysis, they not only compare the different between with a degree and no degree, but also the difference between ages and majors. These data are not that easy to find and very helpful when choosing major or adjusting your attitude when you just graduate from college and feel frustrated about finding a job. It is never bad to analyze an issue in multiple ways. All the figures are well labeled with detail explanations of the meanings of different categories, how they analyzed these data and what were their findings.



Jaison R. Abel, Richard Deitz, & Yaqin Su (2014). Are recent college graduates finding good jobs?. (2014). Current Issues in Economics & Finance, 20(1), 1-8.


The topic you picked to blog about is very important and I applaud you for examining the article because many students would not find this sort of information interesting. As a senior at Brockport, I am very attracted to this sort of information because it directly applies to my current situation. I am about to enter the job market and am continuing the process of trying to land an occupation in my career field. You stated the results of the study clearly; the unemployment rate is higher for individuals with little or no college education. I was curious when reading your summary if the article specified which areas of employment they sampled to examine whether or not the trend was decreasing or increasing based on college education? I think that in your future responses you could give an example within the summary of the results. Are there certain jobs that are more likely to accept an applicant with college education even when it is not a required qualification? I know that in today’s society bachelor degrees are becoming more and more common among job seekers, so I would like to see what the researchers found in the actual market. When I have been applying to jobs in law enforcement, almost all of the candidates have some sort of college degree or military experience even though it is not required by the agency. You did a nice job informing the reader that there are differences in the data collected pertaining to the major selection and type of degree; personally I would appreciate a specific example which would solidify your concluding statements.

I truly enjoy this article and it indefinitely sounds very interesting to read because it deals with an extremely important issue that affect a good chunk of the population in America. I know a lot of my colleagues who are juniors or seniors in their major and / or program are beginning to feel the stress of needing to find a job so that they can become financially independent and start their lives at a better place, after commencement.
Where does one find time to do any outside time to apply for scholarships, jobs, internships, et cetera? I know it gets done, but, it must take longer hours and almost no lunch or dinner times to do so. Most juniors and seniors that I know work on and / or off campus and take 15 or more credits on top of having an internship. The notion that most if not all college students are “alcoholics,” or “drug addicts” are not true. There is a good majority of the student population, on any university campus, who work hard day and night just to survive from financial drowning. College/University students do not have it as “easy” as most people who are on the outside assume. Many students have more social, familial and financial problems than many lead on. This leads to long nights, fatigue, and constant emotional and psychological stress.
The College at Brockport does its best to help its students survive, and get their name out there in the “real world” by bringing many local employers to the college for a Job/Internships Fair and by making many programs and majors have field placement requirement for a student’s senior year at a local employer in that field of study.
Having people have the freedom to choose whether attending a higher institution of learning is good for them is an option that the American culture should consider. Obviously, if everyone is over qualified for every position there may be more social and economic problems because who will do the jobs that are blue or white collar jobs? (e.g., Sanitation, Administrative and Office Assistants, et cetera).

This article is very interesting and it was enjoyable to read. The information was well given and it shows that you really understand the matter. I agree with your point of view since I believe that the more we are educated, the more the society and ourselves will benefit from it. That is the main reason why I'll be volunteering in primary school, teaching chess to students who does not have the opportunity to learn it. It doesn't really matter if we end up doing a job that has a low salary or the same salary as someone who didn't attend to college, as long as we enjoy the work we're doing. Additionally, we have more options of jobs since we have college level education. Knowledge is power, and the more we know, the better it is for ourselves.

I found your article really interesting because it talks about a topic we do not see often; questioning education is a rare thing in our society. However, I read a section of the book "A Year of Living Generously" by Lawrence Scanlan; the author visits an aboriginal reserve where the dropout rate is nearly 50%, and she points out that this is really frequent. Therefore, I believe that this article is really interesting because we question higher education, but at least we have access to it. So shoud we not appreciate education before questioning it?

I found your post very interesting and important since I am a college student. Although I agree with you that getting a job after college is a myth, but it does help. Since university has become accessible to almost everybody, jobs that come out of it are harder to get considering the number of people competing to get them, while other jobs such as plumbing have become easier to get into because of the lack of competition. In Quebec, there is a different level of school before entering university, which is almost the same thing but more general. I believe that this system can be very effective since it can give college students a better idea about whether or not they wish to go to university.

I found your article interesting because it gives information about getting educated or choosing the labor market. I would also like to point out the relevance of what you said thanks to the reliable source that you used (the U.S. Department of Labor) to demonstrate your point of view. Like you mentioned, I think that College Education is worth it for two major reasons. First, when a student will start looking for a job, getting a diploma shows his seriousness to his future employer because he would be able to recognize your hard work. Then, even if a student end up getting a job that is not related to what he studied in, having a diploma is still helpful to obtain a good job. However, I think that, unfortunately, students do not have enough resources to be guided to a field of study because there are not enough academic counselors, or because there is too many theories and not enough practice regarding what the student is studying in. I would like to conclude by saying that money is one thing but it will never replace happiness. Enjoying what you will do for the next forty years is, in my opinion, the key of professional success.