Many Americans Say College Degrees Are Worth the Money But Only Without Loans

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Jun 05, 2024

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Many Americans have expressed a dose of skepticism about college investment, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center, a Washington-based think tank.

Findings released on May 24, 2024 show that nearly half of Americans (47 percent) believe a four-year college degree is worth the money only if students avoid taking out student loans, reports.

On the other hand, 22 percent of Pew respondents said a four-year college degree is worth the cost even if students need to take out loans, while 29 percent don’t agree it is worth it at all.

“These findings come amid rising tuition costs and mounting student debt. Views on the cost of college differ by Americans’ level of education. But even among four-year college graduates, only about a third (32 percent) say college is worth the cost even if someone has to take out loans – though they are more likely than those without a degree to say this,” the report by Pew Research Center points out.

58 percent of students graduating from a four-year college are more likely than those without a college degree (26 percent) to acknowledge the value of education, saying it was “extremely or very useful” in providing them with the right skills needed to find well-paying jobs.

Data further show that almost half (49 percent) of adults in the United States said that today, the importance of earning college degrees in order to get jobs that pay well has diminished compared to 20 years ago. Some 32 percent said it is more important to graduate with a four-year degree, whereas 17 percent said it has the same significance as 20 years ago.

Only one in four adults said it is “extremely or very important” to graduate from a four-year college degree as it leads to a high-paying jobs, 35 percent said it is “somewhat important,” and 40 percent said it is “not too or not at all important.”

According to a report by Georgetown University Center, a significant 72 percent of jobs in the US will require candidates to have finished a post-secondary education or training by 2031, and 42 percent will require at least a bachelor’s degree by the same year.

But, while responding to a survey of 800 US employers by the higher education publication Intelligent last November, 45 percent said they planned to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements for some roles in 2024. Of respondents, 95 percent said their companies require bachelor’s degrees for some positions.

According to another survey carried out by the same source, 55 percent of companies removed the bachelor’s degree requirement in 2023.

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