Should I Go to College or Get a Job? Helpful pros and cons list

Higher education can be a fantastic way to secure a better-paying job, but not all jobs require you to have an expensive degree. In fact, there are many people who have gone on to get degrees that they never use. As your high school career comes to an end, you will have to decide whether you should go to college or get a job.

Although people who have a bachelor’s degree often earn up to $32,000 more a year than those with just a high school diploma, it is still possible to find a good-paying job without a college education.

Ultimately, the choice to go to college or not will come down to the career that you want and if a degree is needed to advance in that line of work.

Pros and Cons of Going to College


Many top-paying jobs will require applicants to have secured a degree of some type before landing the job, while other jobs prefer experience over a college education. The following pros and cons lists might help you decide which path is right for you.

Quick Look

Advantages of CollegeDisadvantages of College
Better JobsExpensive
Better BenefitsDebt
Job SecurityInequal Opportunities
Job PreparationMissed Experience
Explore Your InterestsUnused Degree
NetworkingUnmotivated Teachers
Longer Life ExpectancyPoor Education

College: Pros

Although there are many good reasons to go to college, we have highlighted the top reasons below.

  • Having a degree may lead to better job opportunities with higher-paying salaries.
  • Jobs that need a degree often have better benefits.
  • You will always have the security of knowing you can find a job within that field.
  • College prepares you for work expectations.
  • People often enjoy the college experience.
  • A general degree will introduce you to new fields you may not have known you were interested in.
  • College teaches you transferable skills such as math, reading, and research skills.
  • You can meet people who will eventually become colleagues and build a network.
  • Professors can often give you shining recommendations.
  • Higher education is important to society.
  • People with a college degree have longer life expectancies.
  • Community college can be an inexpensive way to explore your options and earn a degree in as little as two years.

College: Cons

Along with its advantages, college may have disadvantages as well.

  • Top schools can cost thousands of dollars per class.
  • You may need to take out student loans, which take a while to pay off.
  • If you cannot get grants, you may have to pay out of pocket.
  • Not all schools offer high-quality courses, and you may not learn as much as you had hoped.
  • You may still have to pay for a class that you fail.
  • You might not get the job you had hoped for once you complete your degree.
  • You might find that you do not like the field you were interested in.
  • You may be trading a subpar education for quality years of experience on the job.
  • Classroom learning is no comparison to real-world training.
  • Not all teachers are motivated to teach and might give overly easy assignments.
  • You may find yourself unprepared for a work environment even after getting a degree.
  • Not all schools teach students how to transfer the skills they learn into a working environment.

Pros and Cons of Going to College After High School

So, you have decided that you do want to go to college, but when should you go? There are many students who would prefer to go to college directly after high school, but is that really the best choice?

Quick Look

Earlier SuccessChoosing the Wrong Major
Early Financial SecurityTired of School
Continuing with PeersExpecting to Party and Pass
Fewer ResponsibilitiesLacking Real-World Experience
Open AvailabilityBad Habits
MotivationAcademic Problems
Exploring InterestsDebt

College After High School: Pros

Many people choose to go to college directly after high school, and they might be onto something. Below you will find a list of reasons why furthering your education after high school might be the best choice for you.

  • You will earn your degree at a younger age.
  • You can secure a good-paying job early in life, which is helpful if you want to buy a home or start a family.
  • You can experience it with your classmates and friends.
  • It gives you time to explore your opportunities.
  • You have fewer responsibilities at this age, which will make focusing on college easier.
  • You can live on campus or at home with your parents, which can help you save money.
  • If you do not have children, you can cram in late-night study sessions or study groups with friends.
  • You have ample time to go on to a master’s degree.
  • You have time to change your major if you find another area of interest.

College After High School: Cons

While there are many advantages to applying for college in your senior year of high school, there may be some disadvantages as well.

  • You may not know what it is that you want to do and find yourself trapped in a program that you do not like.
  • You might end up changing your major multiple times, which can prolong your graduation and cost you more money.
  • Taking time off to travel or volunteer can help you discover areas of interest you had otherwise not been exposed to before.
  • You might not want to leave friends or family behind.
  • You may not have had time to research schools to find one you really want to attend.
  • You might not be ready and could find yourself unmotivated in a college setting.
  • You may not have developed good academic habits.
  • It is expensive, and if you are unable to get grants or scholarships, you may end up with a lot of student loan debt.

Pros and Cons of Waiting to Go to College


Taking time between high school and college to travel and explore your interests can be a good thing, but should you take too much time off?

Quick Look

Pros of WaitingCons of Waiting
ExperienceMissed Experience
MaturityDelayed Career
Better HabitsLess Income Overall
Avoid BurnoutMore Responsibilities
Avoid Choosing the Wrong MajorRegret
Discover InterestsMissed Financial Help
Volunteer OpportunitiesBecoming Unmotivated

Waiting To Go to College: Pros

Although many parents dislike the idea of their child taking time off before going to college, there may be some benefits to this decision.

  • You will return to school with a more mature attitude, and this can result in better academic habits.
  • You earn real-world experience before attending college.
  • You can take advantage of volunteer programs to travel the world.
  • It gives you time to think critically about what it is that you want to do in life instead of being pressured by external forces.
  • You could avoid paying for a major that you never use.
  • You will be less likely to change majors once you do enroll.
  • You will be more grateful for the opportunity.
  • Taking a break from studies will help you refresh and recharge your batteries.
  • It gives you time to explore programs and schools.
  • It could help you prevent burnout.
  • You can apply for schools and still defer your start date.

Waiting To Go to College: Cons

While waiting to go to college may be a good idea for several reasons, there are still disadvantages to this decision.

  • You may become busy with responsibilities and never get back to college.
  • It can be harder to go back to school while working and raising a family.
  • Being a non-traditional student is often more stressful, and it can take more time to complete your degree.
  • You delay the chance to find a better-paying job, thus delaying your financial security.
  • You do not enter the workforce at the same time as your peers.
  • You miss the typical college experience.
  • You could miss making life-long friends.
  • You may become unmotivated to go back.
  • You might become ineligible for certain financial help or scholarships designated for younger students.
  • You might become stuck in a dead-end job.
  • You may regret it later in life.


If you know what your career goals are, and you know that having a degree is essential to reaching those goals, then you should consider going on to college. However, if the field that you are interested in values experience over education, you may want to seek out a job under a respected trainer.

It should be noted that while both decisions can potentially lead to a good-paying job, people who earn a college degree typically end up making almost $800,000 dollars more over the course of their life, so make sure you do your research before making any final decisions.

You may also like the following posts:

Go to college or start a business?

Is a car salesman a good job?

Is Google certificate worth it?

Start a business or back to school?

How to get a job with no work history?

Is real estate a good job?


John is a writer who combines his personal experience and research to create engaging and informative content on various topics. He writes about careers, job hunting, travel, luxury watches, and classic cars. He aims to share his insights and tips with his readers and help them achieve their goals and dreams.

Recent Posts