Is Student Debt Worth It?

By Arjun Chandrasekar.


In today’s world, getting higher education at top universities is extremely common for young teenagers, especially in the U.S. Going to a prestigious university allows for more growth and opportunities for students to learn. It also allows for easy-access to connect with professionals for quality jobs. But at the same time, students don’t need to get a degree for some of the most popular jobs due to the infinite amount of resources online for free or cheap costs. Rather than spending $50,000 annually for college tuition, attending a rigorous bootcamp for coding can set you up for similar jobs. There are so many alternatives for college that it’s impossible to not consider them.  Today, we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of attending college and some of the many replacements.

Necessary for Career Path

While there are many online resources that can substitute higher education such as hacking bootcamps for computer science jobs, many other careers like healthcare or chemical engineering will in fact require a degree. It’s practically impossible to self-study everything about these classes that a professor would teach you at college, plus all of the tests and research you would need to do can’t be done at home. For example, to get into medical school, most students attend a 4-year university and major in pre-med, do hundreds of hours of lab research with professors or physicians, take the MCAT and score well, all while studying everyday and maintaining a high GPA. This cannot be done through online courses or not attending college, so if your goal is to become a physician one day, counselors will  advise you to take the traditional college path.

General Pros and Cons


  • Professional Development
    • One of the many perks of attending college is the opportunities for professional development. Many top-tier colleges such as Princeton or Harvard have hundreds of workshops and conferences where students get the chance to meet professionals and build their network.
  • Career Path
    • College provides a more-or-less, direct career path. For example, students who want to break into investment banking usually follow these steps: major in finance or business administration, maintain a high GPA, work for financial institutions or small firms for internships, and build an extensive network with business professionals.
  • Higher Income Opportunities
    • The income opportunities for students attending college compared with those not is pretty different. First, even obtaining a well-paid job without going to college is very difficult, but ranking up to higher incomes will be tough. Those who attend college and work for a couple of companies through internships will find it easier to obtain a well-paid job right out of college.


  • High Debt Rates
    • The debt is the most controversial topic when students choose whether to attend college or not. “Among the Class of 2019, 69% of college students took out student loans, and they graduated with an average debt of $29,900, including both private and federal debt. Meanwhile, 14% of their parents took out an average of $37,200 in federal parent PLUS loans.”(
  • No Guarantee for a Job
    • Without college, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a job. While even attending college doesn’t guarantee a job, it will provide a direct path for you to follow with other students around you to keep you on track. But not attending college will make it all the more difficult to obtain a job, and you’ll most likely have to attend other learning programs such as bootcamps, training sessions, and certificate requirements.


Overall, although college can be quite expensive and tough to break out of debt, the opportunities, connections, and learning endeavors you’ll amass will always be indefinite. Again, there are so many ways to get a job without attending college, but you will have to consider the pros and cons of both options as well as what personally works for you and your goals in life. 

We hope this article helped in some way and if you’d like to learn more about business and finance, be sure to check out the other articles!

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