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By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, M.Ed.

School is expensive! It would be nice if tuition would decrease and become affordable for everyone, but that’s not the case. Tuition is steadily increasing every year making it harder for people to obtain a degree. According to America’s Debt Help Organization, the total debt for the United States is $1.4 trillion, and the average student debt is $37,172. In addition, student debt that is accumulated every second is $2,858, and the average college tuition cost ranges from $9,410 for an in-state university to $32,410 for private schools.” For anyone who is about to graduate high school and attend college, or may be thinking about going back to school, these numbers would make anyone want to rethink their decision. Although having an education is very important, it is very costly, and many people don’t want to drown themselves in years of debt. But what if you could go to school, make a decent salary, and not spend as much money?

It has been the norm that in order to have a decent job, with a decent salary, you must attend school for at least four years in order to receive a bachelors degree. However, what some people don’t realize is that you can find a good job making good money and will only have to attend school for two years. This cuts the time in half in addition to the cost. In some cases, you can even make more money on these jobs than some jobs that require their employees to have a bachelors degree.

According to PayScale, they have compiled a list of jobs that are high paying and only require individuals to obtain an associates degree. This list includes computer engineering, economics, management information systems, computer science, civil engineering, construction management, electrical engineering, and dental hygienist just to name a few. These jobs start around 40K for early career pay, and towards mid-career, an individual can earn up to 70K. One can make this much money with only an associate’s degree. It has also been noted that these high paying jobs are available especially in the technology and engineering field.

I am a huge proponent of education and if you can endure the financial cost of going back to school, then I believe that the end result will be well worth it. It is not an easy task, but it is also not impossible. Getting an education means that you are making an investment towards your future. You may not reap the benefits right away, but over time, your education will open up many more opportunities that may not have been available without it. Before you make the decision to not attend college, make sure you consider getting an associates degree first. It will cost less, and it won’t take as much time. America’s Debt Help Organization made it known that, “A college graduate can expect to make about $1.3 million more than high school graduates over the course of their working lives.”