Is a college degree necessary? The answer to this question is not as clear cut as it used to be.
Is a College Degree Necessary?
A new infographic from Online College Plan titled, “Can You Be Successful Without A College Degree?” provides some insight on the current sentiment regarding college education. The report also asks, “Is higher education still the best route to success?”
This, of course, depends on many different factors and it will vary from person to person. Success doesn’t mean the same thing to all people, and with today’s digital technology higher education also doesn’t mean attending a traditional college/university.
The one thing most people can agree on is, digital technology now offers more options when it comes to education. This, in turn, has students seriously questioning the value proposition of all the debt they are saddled with when they graduate from a traditional school.
With total student debt in the US at $1.52 trillion in 2018, the infographic from Online College Plan asks a timely question for anyone thinking about a college education.
Can you be Successful Without a College Degree?
The answer is, of course, you can. The world is full of successful entrepreneurs without a college degree, but having one is invaluable.
A degree provides increased opportunities, earning potential, upward mobility and more. But a traditional post-secondary institution is not for everyone. And for those who want to carve out their own path on a road less traveled, it is now more possible than ever before. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.
Takeaway from the Infographic
College enrollment is down from 20.4 million in 2011 to less than 20 million today. And students are embracing alternatives such as non-degree certificates because they have more options when it comes to careers which don’t require college degrees.
These careers are also paying more, with median salaries of $35k to $54.9K.
However, these salaries are not delivering on the American Dream. According to the infographic, the average American family is smaller in 2017 at 2.14 people compared to 3.64 in 1948. This includes fewer children at 0.88 in 2017 and 1.19 in 1948.
Even though there are fewer people in the family, they want more luxuries including bigger homes, vacations, dining out and more. When you add the high cost and debt of a college education, the American Dream is getting harder to achieve.
Opportunities in the Digital Ecosystem
The good news is digital technology now provides everyone with tremendous opportunities. This includes everything from education (free and paid) to entrepreneurial ventures which can start in a single room apartment and grow to a global brand.
Having a college degree is always a plus and today you can get it from virtually anywhere. But if you choose not to go that route, you also have more opportunities than ever to find success.
Take a look at the rest of the data in the infographic below.