Market Overview

Infographic: Why Fewer Americans Are Going To College

Infographic: Why Fewer Americans Are Going To College

After decades of skyrocketing U.S. college tuition costs, more young Americans are choosing not to obtain a college degree. recently compiled an infographic suggesting that opting to pursue a trade instead of college may be more financially feasible today than in decades past.

In the past 70 years, after adjusting for inflation, undergraduate college tuition is up more than 400 percent. Over the same stretch, the cost of an advanced degree, such as a medical or law degree, is up 800 percent.

As a result, roughly two-thirds of Americans who earn a college degree go into debt, while less than half of those who opt  for some form of a non-degree certificate are in debt, according to OnlineCollegePlan.

Americans now carry more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, yet 54 percent of college graduates consider themselves underemployed.

Younger Americans also seem to be realizing a college degree may not be the best financial investment for all students. Total U.S. college enrollment grew from 2.3 million in 1947 to as high as 20.4 million in 2011. Since then, it has dropped slightly to 19.2 million as of 2016.

Related Link: 10 Worst College Majors For Making Money

In the past 70 years, inflation-adjusted salaries for careers requiring advanced degrees have more than doubled. Yet the earnings of skilled laborers have more than tripled in that same time.

Many of the best skilled labor positions may not require a college degree, but they will almost always require some level of training, certification and/or work experience.

OnlineCollegePlan highlighted optician, plumber, dental assistant, HVAC technician and alternative energy technician as several of the fastest-growing and most in-demand non-degree positions in today’s economy. Laborers can expect to make median annual wages of $35,000 to $55,000 for these jobs.

Successful Without a College Degree
Source: Online College Plan

Posted-In: Online College PlanEducation Media General Best of Benzinga


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