Question getting a degree

College craps by David Delgado

College craps by David Delgado

Graduation time is around the corner for the Spring 2012 class. Time to celebrate. Time to think ahead. Time to go out into workforce.

With student debt piling up and the cost of living rising, is it worth it? For some the answer is yes. Although unemployment rates may be high for certain majors, rest assured you will be ready when opportunity strikes. Having your degree will be essential to landing that dream job. Others feel the “system” has failed. In 2010 the average student incurred between $50,000 to 70,000 worth of debt.

Students must then ask “Did I choose the right major?” An industry that will be in demand. A field of study that is applicable to my degree. Or will the unemployment office be your next interview?

That may not be so easy for some students. A recent study showed that in 2009, 22 percent of college students were unemployed and another 20 percent were working in a field that did not require a degree. Do the math. Nearly half of all college graduates were either unemployed or working in menial positions.

How is this possible? While many students put in a lot time and effort obtaining a degree to only find out the job market is over-saturated. It is imperative that students do their due diligence.

It is also important to choose a career that brings happiness, as well as, financial security.

In such a volatile economy it is sometimes hard, but not impossible to find employment. One could always be more advantageous and seek a higher level of education. Research has shown lower levels of unemployment amongst master’s and doctorate degree holders. For example, a New York Times article mentioned more than 60 percent of those who graduated in the last five years say they will need more formal education to be successful.

Trina Thompson, a student who enrolled in Monroe College in New York (in 2009) is suing the institute because she cannot find a job. She owes $70,000 in school loans. “They have not tried hard enough to help me,” Thompson said in an interview.

Persistence is key. A job at Starbucks or Macy’s may have to pay the bills temporarily. Do what’s necessary as means to an end.

Monroe’s spokesman Gary Axelback said, “This lawsuit is completely without merit.”

Any college graduate would agree. Who sues their institute for lack of employment? If that were the case, some colleges and universities would be shut down. In the long run, students are better off with their degree than without it.

“The college prides itself on the excellent career-development support that we provide to each of our students, and this case does not deserve further consideration,” Axelback said.

Students could always migrate to a state with a better economy. Houstonians wouldn’t have to travel far. Moody’s reported the Lone Star State had three out of the 10 cities with the lowest unemployment rates Houston was ranked first, followed by District of Columbia, Minneapolis, Minn. and New York City.

The article also said Houston’s growth was inevitable with its business-friendly environment and abundance of oil-money.

Of course no matter what you do in life it’s always best to have some sort of cash flow. It may not be what you want at first, but if it is, enjoy the icing on your cake.

Kamilah Sage is an economics senior and may be reached at [email protected].


  • The questions you ask and some of the stats you cite are so mindless as to be amazing. Did I get the right degree? I'm guessing you're of the insane notion that universities offer worthless degrees in subjects no one cares about, like History, Philosophy. You must think they're offered for some weird sentimental reason? They are subjects and degrees without which, there wouldn't be much culture in your culture. and your education would be as flat as cardboard. Low unemployment in Texas? That's because most of the jobs "created" are in low-paying jobs which do not require a formal education. Are you one of those business majors who looks at these self-serving government stats and takes them prima fascia? Need we review Critical Thinking from your freshman year? Oh, and one last thing. Learn English grammar — now that you're in college, that should actually matter. Its: Time to go out into THE workforce. Check your 3rd sentence 1st paragraph. I'm guessing English was not your major.

    • No but those people with those degrees need to understand what they are getting themselves into. They are going to the bottom paid players when it comes to degrees. That a BA in the two you mention, pretty much mean you either have to go and get a Masters or PhD to actually get paid well. Unlike many B.S. degrees. Personally I am all for people taking those degrees, what I dislike is how they complain that it is unfair how they can't "get a job" or the pay for them is miniscual compared to other technical degrees. Those who do call it worthless are the ones who are tired of hearing the complaints from those who chose to take that program. As for jobs I would like to see proof of the low wage portion. I see people tout that all the time but when asked for proof they can't cough up the money.

      • Getting themselves into? A History BA is one of the toughest degrees to get, but (big + ) one of the most versitile. Why? Sooo much reading and writing. That's one of the real reasons most students hate those majors. Plus there's the phoney lure of those top-paying jobs and falsely promised big paychecks by people like you. Might want to check your facts with the local unemployment office. Lots of guys with tech degrees in line there. Hmmmm. Wonder why. Their education was very specific. That needs a specific market, doesn't it. Bummer.

  • So, it's the editor's day off? Perhaps some larger paragraphs would indicate some coherent train of thought, rather than disjointed sentences.

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