College Might Not Be Worth It For You

Photo Source: Keira Burton,

Daniel Doherty, Writer

Fifty percent of recent business graduates are working jobs that do not require their degree. 


The National Center for Education Statistics found that business was the most common field of study for every racial and ethnic group. In 2015, 364,000 people majored in business. That means 182,000 of those graduates are not benefitting from the degrees that they paid several thousands of dollars for.

The reason people go to college is to get a degree, but the overall college dropout rate in the U.S. is 40% for undergraduates. For a community college, more than 50% of students drop out within six years. For those who paid tens of thousands of dollars for a useless degree, it would have been better for them to realize college wasn’t the right choice before they made the commitment. 


          Numerous families immigrate to the U.S. because they want to build a new life. Most people see college as a way to guarantee success. However, 89% of low-income first-generation students drop out, which is four times higher than second-generation students. To put it simply, college is very expensive and arduous.

          The average cost for a degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology comes out to about $181,000. The average starting salary for an MIT graduate is $100,000. And MIT has a 92% graduation rate so you likely won’t drop out. If you have the brains and the dedication to get accepted into a top-tier school then it is probably worth it for you. However, very few people are able to get into a school of that caliber. 


For most people, going to MIT or another very well renowned and prestigious college isn’t even an option. In a more realistic school like UMass Lowell, the average cost for a degree comes out to about $173,000. The average starting salary for a UMass graduate is only $46,000. Both schools have very similar prices but the starting salary is drastically different.


A great option to consider is a trade school. Trades are cheap to learn. To become a tradesman you apprentice with someone who is a master in that trade. Most people take night classes while they work full-time but you can also go to school full-time instead. It doesn’t take many classes to become a master. Most of your learning comes from on-the-job experience during your apprenticeship. Whittier is a trade school that is only a few miles away from Pentucket. Whittier offers night classes to learn different trades. Electrical, for example, costs under ten grand for all the classes. These electrical classes will be taken throughout a four-year apprenticeship. When you finish all the classes and your apprenticeship you take a test to become a master electrician. The average base salary for a master electrician is $77,000


          Various large tech companies including Tesla, Apple, and Google do not require college degrees. They have realized that there are other ways to learn, like through job experience and self-teaching. The college degree is not what matters to them, it’s the ability of the person.


For a lot of people college probably isn’t worth it. There are a lot of more cost-effective ways to get educated than going to a college. When Pentucket guidance counselor Lisa Howard was asked about the value of college she said that she believes “education is imperative; however, there are smarter ways to get educated.”