People rethinking value of college

High cost of tuition, poor economy leading people to think degree not worth it

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The high cost of college tuition has more people rethinking the value of a degree.

A new survey shows more people believe the investment in a college degree is just not worth it.

There's a school of thought out there that because the economy is so bad, people are forgoing their education, thinking it's not that good of an investment.

Experts say it may look like someone is saving money and avoiding loan debt, but in the long run, a career with a college degree is much more valuable than a job without it.

College student Justin spent several years looking for a job without a college education, but had no luck.

"First thing I did was go back for my education to get a degree," Justin said. "Just got my associate's degree and opportunities have started to open up quickly."

Justin's rationale that a college education would guarantee him work isn't as popular as some may think.

According to Country Financial Survey, a survey of 3,000 Americans found only 57 percent of people believe college is a good financial investment for young adults.

Four years ago, 81 percent of people surveyed thought it was a good investment.

Since the financial crisis hit in 2008, the figure has dropped significantly.

Darrell Jones works at Best Buy and doesn't necessarily feel the same way as Justin.

"I work with a lot of people now that have high degrees and they're working low income jobs," Jones said. "They can't seem to find a job still with their bachelor's or master's or high associate's or doctorate's."

The mentality that college is too expensive and it's hard to find a job whether you have a degree or not may be growing more common, but experts say in the long run, the hard work and expense to get the degree pays off.

"Working with people all over the country and doing recruiting, it's obvious that those with a college degree command a higher salary and that it's harder to find people with the right skill set who are degreed," CEO of Talagy Staffing Firm Amy McGeorge said. "So there's no question that a college degree is important in the employment process."

Across the country, the unemployment rate overall is 8.2 percent. But for those with a degree, it's cut in half, at 4.1 percent.

"People who are trying to decide whether to go to college need to do their research about what are the jobs, what are the kinds of fields that have a limited supply of workers," McGeorge said. "Go make sure they get not only a degree in those areas, but they get some experience."

McGeorge also pointed out that a recent Time Magazine article said by the year 2020, 75 percent of the jobs in the United States will require a college degree.

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