It’s a debate that’s being enacted throughout the world, rising costs mean that the price of a higher education is more than ever before. So is a degree or diploma worth the costs, is it worthwhile leaving college with a huge student loan to start off your working life? In Europe that statistics are quite chilling – countries like Spain and Greece have huge numbers of graduates – up to 40% of young people have a degree level education. It sounds positive until you meet them – highly educated young people who have been unemployed for years.
When you speak to a microbiologist with a post graduate degree who has never had a real job in her life. Unemployed for three years after completing a gruelling degree and burdened with thousands of Euros of debt as well. You start to think seriously – is it all worth it. High levels of education has not protected Europe from the recession, in many ways the jobs that graduates traditionally seek were the first casualities of the recesssion. We are left with low level, low skilled jobs which graduates are actually at a disadvantage in applying for.
Would you employ a graduate with a masters in Physics to clean your offices? Or would you suspect that they’d disappear for something better at the first opportunity? Unfortunately for our graduates in most places there is nothing better and low skilled jobs are all that there are. Of course the recession has another impact on Government spending, meaning that welfare support is also being slashed to manage the huge deficits.
Of course the jobs situation would likely be even more depressing if suddenly the numbers going to college dropped. Those numbers of 30,40 or even 50% of unemployed young people would spiral even higher. It is also essential for any economy that young people are educated, high levels of education have a large impact on economic success, even though it doesn’t always seem that.
What is essential is that the financial burdens on our students is limited as much as possible. Loan schemes and deferred payment options help students study without the crippling levels of debt that act as serious disincentive. There is hope through the medium of the internet in reducing the cost of traditional education. Online education is seen as the future, with already many of the world’s most successful universities offering courses online. Any student with a reasonable internet connection, a laptop or PC, can sign on an complete a course at one of the best universities in the world. It’s a huge benefit and shows that the internet is not all about playing games, messing about on Facebook or watching movies on the American Netflix !
Education is essential to building a successful and well rounded society. People with degrees are proven to contribute and take part more in society, for instance volunteering for charities and voting.