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Note to keeping costs down. Take as many college level courses in high school as possible. Consider community college as a stepping stone. Do not borrow! The changes in Student loan terms basically make you a debt slave for life. Discharge the debt and you run afoul of the IRS.
When considering type of degree to get, focus on business, engineering, and the hard sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, etc). Stay away from most of the Liberal Arts and Humanities as majors; music & theatre, communication, women's studies, psychology & socioloty, etc. These are much less difficult degrees to get and have much less demand in the job market and the pay and opportunities show it. No one cares if you can eloquently debate the fine points of race relations, they do care about good accounting skills though. Also, good schools with good academic counselors. And, be involved as a parent, don't trust that just because you're giving some college your money to educate your kid that they are doing the best job possible, usually they don't really care that much.
Higher education has been suffering the same effects from government subsidizing; federally subsidized student loans, grants and scholarships, that the housing market has suffered. Artificial stimulation has created huge distortions in the market place for higher education. This is the main reason that college costs have inflated at about twice the rate of overall inflation for the last 40 years or more.
ok hold on. You have to think about more than what gets the best economic return. You can't go get an engineering degree and then job unless you are inherently an inventive tinker anyway. You get the skills to analyze and design, but those who get such degrees without the natural talent do not do well in business.
Also, the type of job you get will be different than what you'd get without the degree. How do you see your social life? Do you want it to more related to your job; or would you rather separate those. Climbing the ranks of the engineering, and business vocations makes the job a serious part of your life. Are you skilled with your hands, and would like to have a job where you can utilize that, but not become a part of the company. Then you might do better at a vocational skill type job, without the college.
So there is more at stake than just picking a profession that is in demand, and matriculating into that curriculum. I've been working for more than 50 years now, and I've seen a number of people who completely wasted the college costs by trying for the wrong career.
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