Preparing for College

Underemployment vs. Over-Indebtedness

Parents of college-bound high school seniors out there, have you ever wondered, "What if Adam [or Emily] graduates with a four-year degree, lots of loan debt, and can't find a job worthy of his [or her] education?" That nagging question is becoming more and more pertinent in today's economy, where companies and even the military are shaving jobs. It's Cutback City and the ante keeps going up.

I received some information the other day that informs us that now a graduate degree is more important than ever. Just when you thought four-year college was a meal ticket. Consider this: "According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs requiring a Master's or Doctorate are growing at 22% and 20% respectively from 2010 through 2020 while jobs requiring a Bachelor's degree are growing at 17%, and a high school diploma only 12%. In addition, those with graduate degrees have an average of up to 72% higher lifetime earnings and experience about half the unemployment rate as those with only a Bachelors Degree (2011). The highest job growth is in specialized areas of study including biomedical sciences, healthcare professions, math, finance, education, and engineering." The implications here are imposing.

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