Student-Loan Debt & College Degrees
Americans owe nearly 1.3 trillion dollars in student-loan debt, spread out among approximately 43 million borrowers. In fact, the average graduate of the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student-loan debt, up six percent from last year.
The above picture is of a building at the Yale University Campus. Yes, Yale is a good school and it is highly rated, but the average cost for tuition plus room and board is a staggering $63,000 per year! That’s a lot of money. If you plan on attending, you had better have wealthy parents, or, intend to land a job that pays lots of money. Otherwise, you’ll be in debt for a long, long time.
Student-loan debt is out of hand, and putting far too many college students in deep financial debt. Mark Kantrowitz, who is one of the nation’s leading student financial aid experts, recently published an article in Money Magazine (June 2016), and implied that student loans are not only out of hand, but have surpassed the danger level. For example, Money states that, ’student-loan debt exceeded credit card debt in 2010 and auto loans in 2011, and it passed the ‘one trillion dollar mark in 2012.’ This year, more than two-thirds of college graduates graduated with debt, and their average debt at graduation was about $35,000, tripling in two decades.
Controversy Over Student-Loan Debt
Maybe it’s not a surprise, but more than fifty percent of graduates believe that their undergraduate education was not worth the financial cost. (According to a Time article by Mark Kantrowitz.
Yet, despite all of this controversy over student debt, companies from all industries continue to list degrees and even advanced degrees as job requirements. They list these even when they know that such degrees are not necessary to be successful at the position.
Most job descriptions are written by the hiring manager or HR, and after the original draft, no attention is paid to the details. If a hiring manager states that he/she needs a PhD or a degree from a particular institution, it isn’t challenged. No one asks them, ‘why’. If pressed, I’m convinced there wouldn’t be a concrete answer—I know. I’ve tried.
A New Way of Looking at Things
Thomas L. Friedman has been with The New York Times for thirty plus years. He conducted an interview with the head of hiring at Google, and wrote an article regarding hiring practices at Google.
You don’t need a college degree to be talented…
…said Google’s head of H.R., Laszlo Bock.
“When you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people,” Bock said.
When pushed, Bock went further, saying,
“Don’t just go to college because you think it is the right thing to do and that any bachelor’s degree will suffice.”
Don’t get me wrong, Google hasn’t gone so far as to start hiring people right out of kindergarten, but they have also realized that high GPAs and degrees from particular institutions don’t mean as much as they may have originally thought.
In another article by Gregory Ferenstein, in April 2014, he talks about why Google doesn’t put a lot of weight on college degrees. The article actually said, ‘why Google doesn’t care about college degrees’, but I rephrased it.
Before we move on, I want you to think about something. Thirty two percent of the world’s billionaires do not have a degree. The founders of Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Facebook, Oracle and Twitter, do not, or did not, have degrees. The richest and second richest people in the world do not have degrees. Before we look down on someone because they don’t have a degree, remember what you just read.
For more examples—lots more—read Uneducated.
Did you ever find yourself at a dead—end, not knowing where to go, or which way to turn?
I’m sure Steve Jobs did, or Bill Gates, or Leonardo da Vinci, or Ben Franklin, or any of our twelve presidents who didn’t have degrees. But that didn’t stop them. They didn’t give up. They gathered their wits, made a plan, and persevered. And look where it got them!
Not everyone becomes a billionaire, obviously, but it is achievable. Many of the people in this book did it. You can too.
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Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of gritty crime dramas about murder, mystery, and family. And he also writes non-fiction books including the No Mistakes Careers series as well as books about grammar and publishing. See the complete list here.
He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 45 loving “friends.”
Have a great day,
Giacomo (Jim) Giammatteo
Website: Giacomo Giammatteo
Fiction Books: (Mystery and Fantasy)
Non-fiction (No Mistakes Publishing) (Publishing, Writing, Grammar, other non-fiction)
Non-fiction (No Mistakes Resumes) (Career related, as in résumés and interviews)
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