Working Versus Continuing Education

In this current economic recession, high school and college graduates are faced with the same dilemna: Should I enter the workforce or pay incredible amounts of money for undergraduate or graduate education? There are so many different perspectives on this subject but currently the majority seem to be in favor of the latter option. Most parents and professionals seem to encourage the youths of this nation to seek increased education to improve their earnings and career potential. I would agree with this approach ideally but the fact is, a college education these days costs most people and arm and a leg. A 4-year degree can cost upwards of $160,000 and graduate school can cost another $40,000+ per year depending on where you go and the program you are enrolled in. Sure there are scholarships, interest free loans, grants, and work-study programs for qualified students but not for the majority of students, especially mediocre ones. Just imagine if all that money and time was saved, and intense work applied in the workforce instead, many individuals might be in better financial and employment shape than they would have been if they had attended more schooling. This will obviously depend on the industry, but a lot can be said for working your way to the top and educating yourself. Alternatives to college such as learning a trade or enlisting in military service are also fantastic means of improving your socioeconomic position and career potential without investing six figures.
In summary, continued education and success are what you put into it. Highly intelligent, skilled, and motivated students will most likely be successful whether they enroll in continuing education or enter the workforce. Mediocre or lazy students will probably do mediocre in workplace whether they invest in additional education or not. Many individuals might be better off putting their time into the workforce and progressing that way. I'm glad I achieved my Bachelor's of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology but often times I think I would have been just as successful if I had worked full time instead.

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