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Is College Worth It? Yes, College Grads Tell Glassdoor - Sort of

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'Group of college students in the university amphitheatre, they are sitting and doing an exam.'
Skynesher
Students in high school and college, along with their parents, do a lot of soul-searching to decide if college is worth the cost -- $200,000 at some private schools, which has propelled college debt in America to more than $1 trillion.

Experts who analyze long-term employment trends are nearly unanimous: Despite the sticker shock, a degree beyond high school is definitely worth it. Americans with a four-year degree made nearly double the hourly pay last year compared to those without a degree, according to a recent Labor Department analysis of data supplied by the Economic Policy Institute. And the pay gap for those with a college diploma has widened over the years.

For the most part, college graduates agree. A survey of more than 2,000 people conducted online by Harris Interactive for job services company Glassdoor finds that 82 percent of U.S. college grads believe their college degree has helped their careers. But once they have that first job after college, 63 percent rank new skills learned or special training received after leaving school as the most important factor in advancing their careers.

"The job itself contains a lot more stuff than you get in college," said Rusty Rueff, a career and workplace expert at Glassdoor, which released the survey results on Tuesday. He said employers are looking for more than a college degree can provide. "The need to gain relevant skills has been exacerbated since we've come out of the Great Recession."

What About Your Major or Your GPA?

Nearly half of those surveyed say their specific degree is not particularly relevant to their job. And 80 percent say potential employers have never asked about their grade point average. Still, two-thirds say the level of the education they have already achieved has helped their careers, while 56 percent believe a higher level of education would make them more successful.

Glassdoor also looked at people who are looking for work and found 71 percent believe that they would be more successful if they had a higher level of education. That's especially true for unemployed men.

The bottom line is that a college degree definitely pays off in getting that first job. It's a baseline requirement in corporate America. But once you're in the door, your success depends on how well you do in the job and how well you prepare yourself for next step along the career ladder. Rueff says you are responsible for you own advancement.

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34 Comments

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xiryjuli

Rather than using college as a way for students to get a trade or a vocation we need to revise high school so that students can have an apprenticeship or a vocational education. We have forgotten that average doesn't mean stupid and that college is not for everyone. No one who doesn't want to go to college should be forced into it because our educational system fails to equip him or her with the skills for finding and keeping a decent job. This is part of what the common core is about. We need to expand our definition of a good high school education back to what it was in the mid 20th century: one that allowed people to hold responsible positions and let them have a good middle class life.

I have medical school debt, but if I can't pay back my student loans it's my own fault. Even if I'm going to be paying them off for 30 years they will be paid off. I may not have an Audi or Mercedes but I have a job that I love and enough coin to drive a used Toyota, insure it for cheap ($25/month at 4AutoInsuranceQuote) and take care of my family. I'm sorry that I'm not sorry that the average American can't have a luxury vehicle.

November 07 2014 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TRACY

I call B.S. I don't have a college degree and have managed to live just fine. I'm not on welfare, and am 100% debt free. I know how much money I make and chose to live below my means. The problem these days is children and adults are told that you NEED a college degree so you can make more money. People buy into the hype and literally spend the rest of their lives in student loan debt. Sure, some people NEED a degree, like if you work in the medical field, but in all honestly, most could learn a trade and make a decent living. I know doctors, pharmacist, etc. that are miserable but are stuck because they have student loans to pay on. I may never live in a million dollar home, or drive a fancy sports car, but that's okay with me. I'd rather live frugal, travel, and spend free days at the park and the beach with my kids. That's more important to me then making a lot of money.

September 18 2014 at 7:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jim.lapt

Did I tell you my hubby bought us a new A6 for a wedding present ?

July 02 2014 at 9:40 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
jim.lapt

I love Obama, he's a handsome black man and approves of my gay marriage. My hubby went to Vassar, and is trying to get into Harvard. Our wonderful president went to Harvard. He's better than all of you because his grandparents were rich, and you aren't .

July 02 2014 at 8:53 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jim.lapt's comment
jim.lapt

But we have a new A6 !

July 02 2014 at 9:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ted_wilson7

Is College Worth It?****** When Grandad's paying 6 figures for a liberal arts degree, probably not. But, who cares Gradndad's paying …..

July 02 2014 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jim.lapt

I can't wait to break in the back seat of our new A6. It's going to be as awesome as when our wonderful president was inaugurated.

July 02 2014 at 8:44 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
jim.lapt

My Hubby is going to post pictures of our new A6 online, Isn't that great? We have one and you don't because you can't afford it, because you're on welfare.

July 02 2014 at 8:29 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jim.lapt's comment
h.ecdag

What color is yours? Did you see? They finally announced pricing today.

July 02 2014 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jim.lapt

My hubby went to Vassar and he's the light of my life. We just bought a new double-wide, and a new A6. The A6 came off the boat today, so we can drive it around the trailer park showing it off to all of our redneck neighbors, it's going to be cool, I can't wait. 4 th of July and all.

July 02 2014 at 8:13 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jim.lapt's comment
h.ecdag

Came off the boat today? That's awesome. So your boat was the California Highway. It just arrived up in Halifax today. That must be you, since there are no other boats due in anywhere today.

Didn't know you were from Canada, eh?

http://www.vesselfinder.com/?imo=9574078

July 02 2014 at 8:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
charlesbrk1

To Tim

I agree to an extent. I've lived in the south for a brief time. And have a liberal arts degree from what some consider one of the top schools in the world.

I think having food on the table and having a roof over your head is more important than a classical education which few schools teach and may not even exist. You have food and rent first and go on from there.

The schools don't teach much about the world as it is. They teach roman history , 2 or 3 years of spanish , chemistry which really doesn't help unless you become a chemist and the civil war. And you suddenly realize you have to pay the bills.

The world doesn't care if you've read steinbeck or freud. The world wants you to pay your way. The schools doesn't teach you about the world and how to live in it. The liberal arts degree as its taught is irreverent because its fragmented and doesn't appoach , in any way a classical education. { at least at berkeley and stanford } I tried.

And from kindergarden to grad school i neve once heard or read about jesus.

Spunky Morgan in Supersize the Movie
Shows 3 pictures to 3 kids..
Some know somewhat george washington.
They all know ronald macdonald.
No one knows jesus.

July 02 2014 at 7:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
h.ecdag

My little buddy from Zero Beach is starting to get angry.

That's what happens when that little guy doesn't get his afternoon nap. He gets quite ornery.

July 02 2014 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to h.ecdag's comment
h.ecdag

I know where Flightsafety is. Spent enough time in Zero Beach. If I never return, that will be just fine with me. Now, you're upset. Why don't you kick the family pet, and crack a beer?

July 02 2014 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
h.ecdag

LOL

July 02 2014 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply