After college, the overwhelming majority of young adults find themselves without a future. They simply don’t have the information or skills to navigate the job market. Employers find them unqualified, mentally unprepared, and untrained.
Many end up doing low-level, entry-level jobs that they don’t enjoy and can barely afford. Unemployment, underemployment, and poverty are common.
To change that, young adults need to get the education and skills they need to ensure they have a better future.
Unfortunately, that future is becoming increasingly difficult. Due to the economy’s lack of growth, millions of people cannot obtain a college degree. As a result, the cost of college education continues to skyrocket. Between 2010 and 2017, tuition and fees at a public four-year university increased more than 5-fold.
In response, more people are going back to school, but there are few jobs to attract them.
Out of the nearly one million young adults who attended college in 2017, 35 percent found that they had not secured a job. Not having jobs has left many with no savings and no hope of working ever again. Many have decided to drop out of college and work at less-than-desirable jobs for a few years.
For some, though, going back to school might be the only option they have.
Yet, with the costs of college continuing to rise, many are contemplating dropping out of college and start their own businesses.
Many college graduates are benefiting, but many others are hurt by the trend.
College graduates are finding themselves working entry-level jobs with little to no ability to advance. Those who don’t go to college and become successful may have even less money in the bank.
Why drop out? Why not just work for a few years in fast food, construction, or retail? To answer this question, college graduates may need to re-enroll and start their own businesses.
Here are some examples of why people who have given up on getting a college degree might want to go back to school.
First of all, many people have dropped out of college simply because they are too young. Most students who can’t get a degree have between 16 and 23 years of age.
Nearly 40 percent of today’s 16- to 19-year-olds are not enrolled in college. But the majority of them lack the knowledge or experience needed to go to college.
Second, dropping out of college does not guarantee that you will get a job. In many cases, it can end up costing the same as if you had gone to college. People with a college degree have the most job opportunities. College graduates also earn an average of $1.5 million more than those with a high school diploma.
Third, returning to school for an associate’s degree or short-term certificate can help those already working get back on their feet. After college, people spend years learning, but employers find it more difficult to hire someone who doesn’t have the knowledge and skills needed to do the job. While going back to school can take time, it is an investment that will pay off.
College graduates who go back to school often improve their employment opportunities. By increasing their skill set, an associate’s degree or short-term certificate can provide an opportunity to better meet the needs of employers.
Sometimes in life it just is never too late to go back to school.
Ken McKenzie is CEO of Currensee, Inc., a company that provides registered education savings plans and tax software to help parents save for college and other financial goals.