Learn What You Need for the Future You Desire

Traditional: University, Major, Major, Major, Degree, Job, Career?

Your Future: Who You Are, Career, Major, Degree, University, Job

It is highly likely that you have experienced the sequence as shown in the first line Traditional shown above. If this is true, you have a set of experiences that define the challenges you now face. Some of those challenges are how to pay off the debt from your education and degree, how to find a job given the degree you have, what major to focus on. If you have already dropped out you may be deciding on what university to now transfer to. All are significant challenges.

Buzz Today Source: CNN Money title: “I will graduate with $100,000 in loans.” When Mears was ready for college, her parents had just lost their home to foreclosure. Mears fell in love with Union College when she started in 2011. She is majoring in political science. She’s also taking time to figure out a five-year plan, including what she’d like to do after graduation.

My goal is to help you transition to the sequence on the second line titled: Your Future. This is a totally different sequence of decisions that change what you need to know to get to the future you desire. Individual blogs will look at various parts of this decision.

The information is this BUZZ Today is exactly the Traditional path that most learners are on. It is University first (Union College), Major (Political Science), Degree (to be conferred), career (figure out what she’d like to do after graduation).

The Your Future path brings some of these critical decisions up earlier in the decision. Your Future is Calling provides.

A Practical Guide to the Education You Need to Have the Future You Desire.

Future posts will provide more detail on solutions to address the link between Learn and Prosper. Stay tuned.

$150,000 in Student Debt and No Job

www.learnprosper.com is designed to give readers like you the information you can use for to prosper in your future. The key words are your and future. Unfortunately many of the headlines about higher education today are crafted to grab your attention and appeal to your emotions.

Buzz TodaySource: Daily Finance: Stories of Student Debt. William: “In just a few months I’m going to turn 62 years old”, says Williams who took out $44,000 in private loans to study psychology. He still has nearly $130,000 to pay off. Paul: Paul sunk more than $120,000 into undergraduate and graduate studies in visual arts, but he has yet to find a job in his field. He owes $150,000 today.Mark: “I wish I hadn’t gone to school,” says Mark, who graduated in 2005 with degrees in psychology and music and $875 monthly payments on $80,000 worth of student loans.

As a nation, student debt totals over $1 trillion dollars. The average student debt of college graduates is around $25,000. This means that there are millions of college graduates with debt that is manageable. What this also means, is that William, Paul and Mark are the exception, not the rule.

Nonetheless, it is valuable to examine the $150,000 and no job case to see what you can learn. The three men in BUZZ Today show us some important lessons.

The ROI that you can expect by earning a degree depends on two things. The first is the amount you pay for your education or the I in the ROI calculation. This you can reduce through a number of important ways that I explain in detail in Your Future is Calling.

The second factor in the ROI calculation is the R, or the Return you can expect to earn in a job. Here BUZZ Today provides some clues. Let’s turn to William, Paul and Mark. Go to O*NET and look up the pay and number of jobs for the identified areas of study: psychology, music and visual arts. The O*NET data speaks for itself.

Headlines about high student debt and no jobs grabs our attention. But it ‘s the lessons to be learned that are most important to you. It’s important to your future that you make key investment and return decisions before you enroll in any degree program. Your choices need to match who you are.

In a recent radio interview I was asked what advice I would give to a young person with $150,000 in student debt and no job. My answer was: “I have no advice to give them. I do not know of any good options once you have arrived at that outcome.” To impact this sad result you have to make better decisions before you begin your learning.

What we see in BUZZ Today, is that merely getting a degree – any degree at any cost, can actually be a very bad decision. The learning that impacts your future begins here.

Associate vs. Bachelor Degrees

Associate Degrees vs Bachelor Degrees

Headline: Community college grads out-earn bachelor’s degree holders.

This is a rather powerful statement.  It is designed to get your attention. The reason it is so powerful is because it reinforces a common journalist theme today that the cost and debt required to earn a bachelor degree are not worth it.  Buzz Today Source: CNN Money:  “I have a buddy who got a four-year bachelor’s degree in accounting who’s making $10 an hour,” Berevan Omer (a recent community college graduate) says. “I’m making two and a-half times more than he is.” Omer, who is 24, is one of many newly minted graduates of community colleges defying history and stereotypes by proving that a bachelor’s degree is not, as widely believed, the only ticket to a middle-class income.

The use of sweeping generalizations often used around this issue of earning a degree of any kind does not contribute to better decision making.   Here we are talking about decision making that directly effects your future.

Let’s look at the BUZZ Today item more closely.  First of all, it is true that some associate degree holders make more money than some bachelor degree holders.  This is true for lots of situations.  Bill Gates does not have a degree of any kind and I have a Ph.D.  Bill Gates makes a heck of a lot more money than I do.  Does this mean that you are more likely to earn more money by not getting a degree?  Absolutely not.

The tricky part of the BUZZ Today article are the words slipped in to reinforce the popular theme that getting a degree is “not worth it”.  The high impact words are: defying history, stereotypes, proving, only and widely believed.  These are words meant to prove sweeping generalizations in support of the conclusion being advanced.   Especially suspect is the combination of the words “widely believed”.

Belief is like beauty.  It is in the eye of the beholder. There is no evidence in the BUZZ Today quote to support the claim that such beliefs are indeed widely held. It is true that these beliefs are being widely reported but this does not mean that they are widely held beyond the belief of the author doing the reporting.  The facts (in contrast to beliefs) are that since 1988, the number of jobs requiring bachelor degrees have grown 82% while the number of jobs requiring associate degrees have grown by 42%.   Jobs for those with only a high school education have actually declined 14%.  More detail on this data is available in the free Introduction to Your Future is Calling. The data also shows that over a lifetime, the average bachelor degree holder earns far more than the average associate degree holder.

In the end, the defensible conclusion is that some associate degree holders earn more than some bachelor degree holders.   The guidance for you here, is that you make your decision about your future based on hard data, sound reasoning and what fits “who you are”.  Stay away from the sensational sweeping generalizations based on beliefs.  To get important facts you might want to read Your Future is Calling.