Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard University as a sophomore to develop Facebook, and is now a billionaire. Daniel Ek co-founded Spotify after dropping out of the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Matt Mullenweg dropped out of the University of Houston and founded WordPress. David Karp didn’t even graduate high school and created Tumblr.
The successful stories of college dropouts make people think twice about investing thousands of dollars on a college degree. Although it is still highly valued, the temptation to bypass college and go straight to the job market has been winning students’ hearts, especially those interested in technology.
In the spirit of this, here’s a list of 10 pros and cons of attending college:
Advantages of going to college:
• People with a college degree make $17,500 more per year than those who without one.
• The amount of jobs that do not require a college degree have been decreasing over time, likely because of the growing numbers of college graduates and the automation of manual-skill jobs.
• College graduates are four times more likely to be employed.
• In times of economic recession, those with a college degree have higher changes of keeping or finding another job.
• Upward mobility is more attainable with a college degree. High school grads tend to become salespeople, laborers, waiters, cooks, truck drivers, etc. In contrast, college grads become managers, accountants, software developers, professors, doctors, etc.
Disadvantages of going to college:
• A college degree is too expensive. College graduates who take out loans owe, on average, $27,000 after graduation.
• A college degree does not secure a good job. More than 44 percent of college grads either do not have a job or accept a job lower than what their degree demands. This makes it even harder for students to pay off their debt.
• An undergraduate degree is no longer a mark of distinction. Around 15 million students go to college every year, so dropping out with a promising job opportunity would actually make a student stand out.
• Many people learn more outside the class than inside, gaining job experience rather than writing papers.
• There is a growing amount of education resources available. One can take courses online for free, teach oneself with video tutorials, and many other options. The key in getting an education is to develop one’s talents, which has become easier to do with a computer at home.