Your College Degree is Worth it
While debates rage on about student loan debt in the United States, the fact of the matter is that getting a college degree is becoming more and more necessary in today’s society.
From a strictly financial standpoint, college degrees are worthwhile. In 2013, Americans who held a four-year degree earned almost 100% more than their counterparts with no college degree. The average starting salary of someone with a bachelor’s degree is about $45,000 while in 2012, the median annual income of someone with no college degree was about $28,000.
The upcoming issue for college students, however, is what to focus on. Universities all over the country have countless degree programs: Early or secondary education degree, psychology degree, business/marketing/communications degrees, interdisciplinary studies degree, or hundreds of others can make the list. Some of these fields are stronger than others, but education has seen a declining number of students.
Getting a secondary education degree is becoming surprisingly rare. News and studies have been warning the United States over the past decade that the number of qualified teachers in this country is dwindling. As a prospective teacher, that’s great news. That would mean that more schools will want you as a teacher, meaning the idea of a bidding war over your services could happen. Of course, there are early education and middle school education degrees in addition to the secondary education degree, so it’s up to you which you’d like to pursue in the event that teaching sounds like a good career.
While the $45,000 starting salary of a bachelor’s degree is probably higher than what most teachers start with, the financial payoff of teaching often comes later. Many states offer teacher’s retirement and pension options that allow a teacher to maintain a high annual “salary” after retirement. Furthermore, most areas say that a teacher’s “retirement” age is between 30 and 35 years after they started — in the mid to late 50s instead of the national suggestion of 65.
Go to college. If you have an eye for the future and an interest in teaching, get an education degree. If you prefer higher-level concepts, opt for a secondary education degree rather than an elementary education degree. If you need money right away, teaching may not be the right career for you. Just remember, however, that schools will never stop existing in society. If the number of teachers shrinks, the incentives to teach increase. That’s good news for you, future student.