Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Costs and Benefits: Why College is an Investment in Your Future

When the economy and job market are in as much flux as they are now, a bit of financial awareness goes a long way. If you have your money on your mind, you may look at post-secondary education suspiciously, and question its value. Tuition is never cheap, and the idea of going into debt can be intimidating. The temptation can be there instead to go straight to the job market, and try your luck that way, under the assumption that the money saved will hold you off until you can find a job. But there's problems with that reasoning, and reasons why a Toronto degree serves as a good investment, including…

Paying money now will save you in the long run
The type and quality of work you can achieve will improve if you have a college degree. Stats back that fact up. Sure, not going will save you a few thousand now, but you'll be missing out on the chance to earn far more than a few thousand back in the long run.

There are all kinds of weird scholarships. You probably qualify for one
The numbers vary, but it's been said that $15 million dollars in scholarships go unclaimed yearly, simply due to people not applying. The assumption that scholarships are entirely based on financial need or academic merit is an incorrect one, when there's plenty of other scholarship criteria. It's worth a look, and can nullify the money problem if you're willing to put in the time to research it.

It doesn't have to be a long program, and you don't have to quit your job
While there are four-year college degree programs, there's just as many two-year programs as well. In addition, if you already have post-secondary credits, you can take a shorter fast track program, or a post-graduate certificate, which can run for as short of a time as a year. Finally, if you have a 9-5 job, and don't want to give it up, you can opt for distance learning online, which, when taken from a proper college like Centennial, gives you the same professional instructor-led content in a form you can take at a time and place of your choosing.

Placements can be paid
First, something regarding internships and placements: They're not simply free labour. You're there to gain practical experience and networking opportunities, not serve whatever company you're placing with. Nonetheless, it's entirely possible that you'll receive cash, or a stipend, while placing at a company, as I did while I was in school. While it doesn't always happen, it can be a quick, immediate return on your college investment, in anticipation of the further benefits you'll reap down the line.

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