In changing society, is a college degree worth the investment?

Updated: Nov. 9, 2020 at 5:43 AM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -As high school seniors prepare for college, and college students prepare for a career, experts urge them to consider whether the cost of going to college will be worth the investment.

A college degree doesn’t come with the same status it did just a decade or so ago if you ask Dr. Shaun McAlmont, President of Career Learning Solutions at K12, Inc.

“You can look at a college degree as does it prepare you for life that allows you to mature over those four to six years? Or did it actually prepare you for a job where you can actually earn and pay that debt?” McAlmont said.

McAlmont subscribes to the theory that college is not for everyone, and takes it one step more - saying college may not even be necessary for future success.

“Recently, Jamie Diamond, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said that at Chase, about 70 percent of all of their new jobs in the future will not require a traditional bachelor’s degree. And that’s a stark realization that technology is moving the modern workplace so quickly, that it’s more ‘Are you able to learn on the fly? Are you flexible? Do you have a basic understanding of how technology works? And can you be trained on the job along the way?’,” McAlmont explained.

He acknowledges that a degree is absolutely necessary for some careers, but encourages students to think open-mindedly about all of their options.

"If you want to become a nurse, you might not have to go to a four-year school. There are many nursing programs that are a year or two years long. Or if you’d like to become a software developer, there are boot camps, and k-12, we just acquired a boot camp called Galvanize that allows students to actually, you know, change a career path in as little as three months, maybe six months, and have a path to a job that pays about $80,000 to $100,000 in software engineering. "

Alabama students can find more information about free career training programs available in this state here.

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