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< Back to question Is college education worth it? Show more Show less

The ever-rising costs of a university degree, coupled with increasing numbers of unemployed graduates, has left the latest generation of students pondering over whether a college education is worth it. Do the benefits of a college degree outweigh the costs?

Yes, college education is worth it Show more Show less

University education opens career doors, provides higher-paid jobs and offers intangible benefits that improve a graduate's quality of life.
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College helps you get a job

University opens career doors for graduates. A person having any form of tertiary education has higher chances to find a job than someone without. This is also reflected by a lower unemployment rate of graduates.
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Unemployment among university-educated workers is far lower than among those without a degree. College is, therefore, highly beneficial for securing employment.

The Argument

The unemployment rate for non-college educated workers is at 3.5%. Among those with at least an undergraduate degree, it is 2.2%.[1] You are more likely to find a job with a college degree than without one. This is because as more people go to university the educational bar is higher. A glut of university graduates in the workforce has allowed employers to prioritize those with a university degree, even for jobs that have traditionally not required any form of higher education.[2] In 1970, 28% of jobs required a college degree. Now 66% of jobs ask that candidates have received some form of higher education.[3] Additionally, 99% of new jobs created require a candidate with a university degree.[4]

Counter arguments

These statistics hide the fact that many college-educated workers are working in a job that has no need for a college degree. Around 20% of college graduates are working jobs that have no need for a college education, handing them all of the debt, without any of the economic benefits. [5] Also, the unemployment rate among recent graduates is actually higher than the unemployment rate among non-college educated workers. In the US, 4% of recent graduates are unemployed and 41% are underemployed—far higher than the national average of 3.6% and 34%. [6]


[P1] The unemployment rate of college graduates is lower than non-college educated workers. [P2] Therefore, college helps you find, and stay, employed. [P3] Therefore, a college degree is worth it.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Correlation doesn't mean causality. Many college graduates would be employed anyway as they work jobs that don't require a college degree.



This page was last edited on Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020 at 13:53 UTC

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