Degrees. Worth The Time? Or Just A Waste?

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Some very famous people never went to college, but went on to do great things. Ellen DeGeneres dropped out after just one semester. Steve Jobs much like Ellen, dropped out after only one semester, and Michael Dell. Michael enrolled as pre-med and left after a year. A quick google will give you so many more on the rich list that didn’t have a degree at all.

But what about people who made it with a degree? Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist – a degree in computer science under his belt. Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx, left with a degree in economics. And, although in some circles you shouldn’t mention him, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon with a degree in engineering.

Both lists hold a lot of net worth, and when it comes down to it, a lot of great ideas too. But for the average joe is it still worth the paper it’s printed on?

The average earnings over a lifetime for those who have obtained a college degree and those who haven’t speaks for itself says Dr. Gerard Jellig.

Being frank, some degrees will see you in a decent job, with good prospects, and some that won’t. You should consider what you want long term. The issues with going from school, straight into a college or university setting are that often pupils haven’t fully decided where they want to be in 5 or ten years.

In most cases, a bachelor’s degree will see a return investment of around 15%. So it’s, in most cases a sound investment. Apparently, college graduates seem to earn approximately 75% more than high school grads. Over a lifespan, it is reportedly 1 million dollars more.

But the deciding factor is what you study.

Which degrees bring the money in after qualification?

Computer Science is a big one. In the last few years, computer programming has been touted as the career of the future. Hardly surprising given the aggressive growth seen in technology. And, you should forget that all of that tech is written, designed and maintained by humans. The job market is rife with everything from computer analysts to frontend coding specialists. This degree will pay you back, and if you love being at the forefront of the most exciting sectors, this is the way to go.

Next up, marketing. But you’ll need to stand out. Every year many new businesses pop up, things get more competitive, and millions are plunged into marketing budgets. If you complete your degree and can show you have the stuff that will turn products into dollars, and engage customers on all levels, then you’ve got a pretty sweet position. Marketing changes with technology, meaning whatever was popular last year will grow and shift the next. Interesting and money making – a great option.

Financial planning. This won’t be surprised, but helping people and businesses carefully curate their finance makes serious cash. Being a certified financial planner is in your best interest following your degree. The average wages for a financial planner in 2013 was a whooping $75300+. And, it goes up from there based on where you work and your specialization.

So, yes degrees are worth the time and the money – if you choose wisely.

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