College Education in the Current Economic Scenario The current economic scenario is deepening into recession, and given that worldwide trends for careers or jobs havent been very encouraging, the prognosis for the upcoming year is that a number of people will be looking to further their college education in hopes of bettering their prospects of employment. Studies have proved beyond doubt, that higher education corresponds to higher earnings for all ethnic or racial groups (about 60% more), irrespective of gender.
Breaking down the numbers
Students who go to higher institutions of learning receive a number of benefits personal, financial as well as social. Costs of attending school A comparison Depending on whether it is a private or public college, community or a full university, US college costs can range from $14,333 to $34,132 for a four-year degree. Fees also vary based on whether the student is an in-state or out-of-state resident. Fees are at an average of $25,200 for an out-of-state resident compared to $14,333 for an in-state student. The following article explains How to Research Your Financial Aid Options. Sector Public Two Year Public Four Year In-state Public Four Year Out-of-state Private Not-for-Profit Four Year For-Profit Sector Public Two Year Public Four Year In-state Public Four Year Out-of-state Private Not-for-Profit Four Year For-Profit Sector Public Doctorate-Granting In-State Public Masters In-State Public Baccalaureate Degree Private Doctorate Private Masters Private Baccalaureate [Source: Collegeboard.com] Detailed rankings and fees are available at: College Rankings Over the last ten years, tuition and fees have gone up by an average 2.4% per year at private four-year colleges, at 4.2% per year at public four-year colleges, and at 1.4% per year at public two-year colleges.
Cutting-edge careers according to an article on UsNews.com, some of the hottest choices for careers in 2009 are: Healthcare With Obama's proposed healthcare reforms, this will be a strong area for careers in nursing, healthcare related software, imaging, hospice related fields, health informatics specialists, patient advocates, wellness coaches. Software, Web development, Video Gaming We live in an increasingly digitized world. All aspects of application development, information, and the Internet make for good career options. Business development Off-shoring and the emerging Asia markets have helped create options for business development specialists, off-shoring managers, joint ventures, and immigration specialists. Clinical genomics The fields of genetics and genomics is the way to go. Decades of research are culminating in huge strides in this field. Environmentalism Global warming and the plunder of the earths resources have led to the burgeoning of this field. Solar and wind research, environmental specialists, and alternate fuel research are some exciting options. Disaster management Emergency planning and disaster management are very relevant to today's world. The demand for trained security specialists is rising. [Source: UsNews.com] Current Market Conditions Tuition Fee Hikes According to a report by Delta Cost Project, a nonprofit organization, tuition has been rising due to increased expenditure on administrators, support services for students and topping up government subsidies. The current economic condition is only likely to make these rising prices worse, coupled with cutbacks on classroom spending. Over the last five years, tuition and fees rose by more than 15%. [Source: Usnews.com] Admission Criteria Depending on the school chosen, criteria for admission will vary.
Top schools generally have stringent selection procedures based on a combination of grades, course work completed in the qualifying degree /high school and evidence of sufficient financing. Based on a report published by Collegeboard.com: Enrollment rates of high school students in undergraduate school between 1996 and 2006 grew from 65% to 66%. For older age groups, enrollment into post secondary programs grew rapidly from 31% to 46% for the age group 20-21 years old. Enrollments grew from 17% to 26% for the age group 22-24 years old. A little over half of all degrees awarded are bachelors degrees and the total number of degrees granted grew by 31% over the period of 1996 to 2006. The number of masters degrees grew by 46% while the number of first-professional degrees rose by only 14%. All these statistics prove that a number of people are opting to study and go back to school. Resources: Collegeboard.com UsaStudyGuide.com UniversityLanguage.com