Student debt is something that economists have been very concerned about for some time now. With student debt amounting to over $3 trillion, there are concerns about what happens when people can’t afford to pay it back, as well as the impact on the quality of life of people who now owe tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars before they have even begun their careers.
With college education seen as an essential for work in many roles these days, many school leavers find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, forced to choose to get into debt with the promise that it’ll all work out when they get a high paid job at the end of it. Of course, with the potential for many jobs to change or become obsolete altogether in the near future, there is often the chance that getting into student debt won’t even lead to a viable career at the end.
Students Choosing Less Expensive Study Paths
The threat of a life under a burden of debt with no promise of a job that will allow them to comfortably pay it off is something that a lot of students, and also people seeking higher level postgraduate education, are not willing to bear. More people than ever are looking for less expensive alternatives to traditional, on campus study at private universities, and online degrees are becoming hugely popular.
Why Are Online Degrees a Good Choice for Avoiding or Lessening Debt?
In many cases, an online degree from a good university; while not free, is vastly cheaper than conventional study. This isn’t just down to the cost of tuition, but also the other factors such as the fact that the student won’t have to relocate or commute, and they will be able to keep any existing jobs and work their studies around their schedules.
Not having to ‘go away to college’ can reduce expenses by a lot, meaning less support from loans is needed. Flexible study can also allow people to cut down on other costs like childcare while they do their degrees, something that can be especially valuable for older postgraduate students or people looking to retrain and start second careers.
Is This Good for the Economy?
In general, having people with more access to education that can help them enter the job market at less cost to themselves is definitely beneficial to the economy, though naturally, more accessible degrees can make the job market more competitive for any given role. One of the many courses people can study online is in fact an applied economics degree, so if this is something you find interesting, maybe that could be a good study path for you!
The potential, and current problems caused by existing student debt are very real, however it is good to know that there are alternatives for people just entering the higher education system, to help keep their own debts as low as possible.