Uncomfortable: You GRADUATED! Now what? | Debt, Degrees & a Horrible Higher Education System

First off, congratulations! Graduating is a big accomplishment – but can I ask you what’re you going to do with that degree? What are your plans?
It used to be that you could come out of college and get a job right away in your field. But now, we offer fields like hip-hop, pop culture, and comedy. WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH A DEGREE LIKE THAT!? And how are you going to pay back all of your loans?? Those degrees are better off listed as “hobbies” or “interests”. Very, very few people make it in the acting, dancing, or art world – and I’m all for going after your dream – but what’s your backup plan? Do you have one?

For a looonnnggggggg time I wanted to be a singer, or an actress – but unless you’re really good and in the right place at the right time, those career choices, more than likely, are not going to pay the bills… So, where do we go from there? Thankfully, I had a back up plan, which ended up becoming my career plan (and path).
To top it all off – the average student, coming out of undergrad has about $37,ooo in student loans. And in 2012, 71% of students graduating from four-year colleges had student loan debt. That is crazy! Think about it… kids are graduating with $30k+ in debt, yet starting salaries are right around there, or maybe even less, for entry level positions.

To get my foot in the door for marketing I took a job at $12/hour – $480 a week – $1,920 a month – $23,040 a year – roughly… This was a $15,000ish pay cut for me, from what I had been making bartending (which isn’t a “real” job if you ask most people, but I beg to differ).
Are we are ok with the average student, in 2016, graduating with over $35k in debt? How are they supposed to pay this debt off when their starting salaries are less than their total debt? The debt to income ratio has to be out of control.

To help with this faulty system, more graduates are moving back home after graduation. 25% of people ages 25-29 are living at home, while 50% of young adults, ages 18-24, are still living with their parents. Today, kids are staying “home” more than ever. They are not moving out. Pros? Cons? There’s lots on both sides… but let’s save that for another blog shall we 🙂

We need to get our higher education figured out. Right now, students are graduating with a crap degree, in an flooded market for the skills that were popular when they started school, and in debt up to their eyeballs. And now, a college degree is what a high school diploma was 20-30 years ago. Now, after spending 4 years in undergrad, you need to get a Master’s Degree, or a PhD to truly go anywhere. More debt… sure, pile it on why don’t ya?
There has to be a better system than the one we currently have. A system that is more modern, easier to update and that can churn out graduates that are actually needed…
Like computer programmers and code writers – I don’t know about you, but I was never taught anything about either of those…

Let’s get REAL about our horrid higher education system.
Let’s get uncomfortable, and start figuring out a solution to our higher education predicament and the barriers we are bound to encounter.

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