Planning for College

How to Get Big Returns from Your College Education

smiling female college graduate pointing isolated on black background
Written by Tenesha

Going to college is a big investment and we all expect that our college education will result in big returns. However, many college graduates never do jobs related to their college majors. Instead, some graduates change their minds about working in fields that are related to their majors while others are forced to switch to other careers due to the lack of job opportunities. Hence, many college graduates in the US and around the world end up feeling like going to college is a waste of time and money.

Well, you can avoid wasting your time and money in college through careful planning and thorough research. It is important to make smart decisions about what to study in college and develop employability skills in that area. Alternatively, you should consider developing your entrepreneurial skills to start your own business. After all, there’s no better job than being your own boss.

The big question that you need to first answer is whether you need a college diploma or degree for your career. In some instances, you might be better off doing short courses, self-taught courses or just learning on the job. If you do decide to go to college, then do some research on the employment or business prospects that are related to the major that you choose. Otherwise, you might end up feeling regretful about your college education like the majority of the college graduates in the US.

These tips can help you maximize the profits of your investment in a college education.

Be Practical

We all have dreams and aspirations about things that we want to do and become in life. However, it is important to do a feasibility test on your dreams and aspirations before investing thousands of dollars in a college education program that will yield little to zero returns. You need to assess your strengths and weaknesses to ensure that you have the potential to do well in your dream job. Many people dream of becoming Popstars but not everyone has what it takes to succeed in this area. Hence, it is important to choose a college major that suits your skill set.

Study the Market

Going to college shouldn’t just be about obtaining a college degree but it should be about making yourself more relevant to the job market. Hence, you need to do research on the jobs related to your field of study to find out whether the markets are saturated or whether there are opportunities for investments or innovative business ventures. Find out about the opportunities and challenges in the job market and the business ventures that are related to your dream job. Otherwise, your college degree or diploma will end up being nothing more than just a piece of paper. Therefore, you will end up doing other jobs that do not apply to your college education. This could cause you to get less pay than your college education is worth.

Do the Math

Going to college is like running a business. You have to calculate your expenses and do a realistic estimation of the profit you expect to make to determine the return on investment of a college education. Think about your college expenses and consider the interest that you might need to pay on student loans. Then calculate how long it will take you to earn the money to cover your expenses and start making a profit. You can estimate the amount that you will earn by researching the salaries that are paid to people with a similar level of qualification and experience. Doing the math will help you decide how much money is worth investing in a college education program. 

Too many college graduates lose out on the big returns of pursuing a college education. Going to college is an expensive investment that also takes up a lot of your precious time. Follow the tips above to get big returns on your college education.

For more great advice on all college-related things, check out our other blogs at College Basics.

About the author


Edmonton Canada based freelance copywriter & College Basics contributor.