Should you choose this course of study?

Nancy Anderson
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Every year around this time, companies who do surveys come out with their picks of the in-demand and best paying degrees for college students. Of course, the start of the fall term is right around the corner so why not come out with something to scare students off!

The latest one I have seen was done by Payscale, Inc. who did a study of college degrees along with the starting and mid-term salaries expected. So let’s take a look at some of those:

Child and Family studies with a starting salary of $29,500 and mid-career at $38.400. Okay, so what is this? With a degree in this field, you will be able to understand and communicate with children, adolescents and adults and integrate your knowledge of the human relations into service-oriented services. Some of the career options could be Director of Senior Living, Child Care Center (multiple positions), Welfare assistance, community coordinator, family life educator, Headstart programs, youth program directors and the list goes on. So, yes, maybe the salary is low but the rewards could be high!

Elementary Education with a starting salary of $31600 and mid-career at $44,400. Actually, that salary does not look bad at all. You have the joy of teaching and you usually have your summers free! What more could you ask for?

Social Work with a starting salary of $31800 and mid-career at $44900 – pretty much the same salary base as a teacher. You will be working with children and families as well as with seniors. This can be a heart-breaking career with long hours and a lot of stress but the rewards can make up for all of that.

The list goes on with Athletic Training, Culinary Arts, Horticulture, Paralegal Studies, Theology, Recreation & Leisure, Special Education, Dietetics, Religious Studies, Art, Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Interior Design, Nutrition, Graphic Design, Music, and Art History.

Looking at this list it is quite sad to note how many of the “worst-paying” degrees have to do with our future and the future of our children - Education, Social Work, Child and Family as well as Health in regards to diet and nutrition – all of the things that we need to be a good healthy society. So what do you think will happen to our future when new college bound students see an article like this and decide NOT to get degrees in the areas that will affect our future?

Money is not everything and, if you are a college-bound student, think about what is important to you. Getting a degree in a career that offers a high salary does not guarantee happiness! There is more to life than money!

By: Nancy Anderson, Staff Writer

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