Zach Duda
Is College in 2024 Worth It? Sorta...
Feb 22, 2024

In just over a month, I will have earned my degree. If this is such a big of an accomplishment as people make it out to be: Why do I not feel proud of myself? It has to do with a lot of factors, and the higher education "business model". Because, in the end: college is a business.

When we ask is college a "scam" we first have to define what college is supposed to accomplish. The goal of higher education is to do just that: elevate your education. This value created from education can be in the form of experience, knowledge, access to resources such as texts in the university library, amongst many others. While these things are all fantastic, they don't necessarily justify the $50,000 price tag that comes with an average in-state tuition in the United States (source from CollegeTuitionCompare).

First of all, any knowledge you could possibly gain in a university, I would argue you can find online for free or for far cheaper. But you might ask yourself, isn't a degree supposed to help you get a job? The answer to that: it depends.

Say you wanted to work as an Electrician. Going to trade school would cost about $4,000 to $5,000, and you'd probably make roughly $22 an hour in the field once licensed (that's $45,760/yr). Out of college however, most graduates find themselves starting out at $50,000 per year or higher depending on the field. A degree alone won't make you successful, and a degree doesn't mean you have any clue what you're actually doing.

If you want to go into a field that trade school can cover you for, I'd say there's a better use of money than a degree. But for the remaining use cases, I feel like the piece of paper you get in the end proves to be important with time. Besides, many colleges do offer tuition assistance and have programs to help alleviate the ridiculous costs associated with going to a university.