Student debt was a leading topic during debates leading into the November election. Forgiving the debt is something that President Joe Biden is very big on and other democrats agree with him. If forgiveness will actually happen remains to be seen, but what we do know is that it’s becoming more expensive to attend a university and get your degree.
Colleges will claim that they need the funds to cover expenses, and they have a point. However, one thing the collegiate world cannot excuse is the challenging curriculum they’ve forced on students who are trying to get degrees in specific areas.
If you wish to be a doctor, yes you should have to take chemistry classes in your first two years of college. However, degrees in marketing, business, education and graphic design are severely mismanaged by most schools. That is to say the curriculum for students seeking degrees in these areas is not tailored to these careers but rather general.
University is Not the Only Source of Knowledge
Marketing is a perfect example where the first two years of the curriculum focus mostly on math and accounting classes. There are actually no requirements to take any classes that will advance your abilities in the field including actual marketing and advertising classes, courses that teach even the basics of Google, Facebook, web design, programming and other areas that will be valuable to someone interested in entering the field.
Students looking to take on a career in marketing will get a higher education from YouTube videos and free instruction courses with these specific platforms than they will from a university. Acquiring your associate’s degree will put you thousands of dollars in debt and you will have zero knowledge or experience in the field you wish to pursue a career in. Even worse, the bachelor’s programs require more money and often lack classes that showcase curriculum relevant to today’s industry.
Degree x Experience
Here’s the catch, the competition in these fields has never been higher and most agencies and corporations care about their employees having a college degree. This bias has hindered the industry as someone with a degree in political science with absolutely no marketing experience would qualify for an interview with a major marketing or advertising agency over someone with years of experience in the field despite no degree. Some think that’s fair, until they have to hire one of those political science majors and realize that their skillset is far behind the requirements of the job.
This issue exists in plenty of other fields of study as well and students have grown extremely frustrated having to choose between getting valuable experience in the field they wish to focus on or getting a degree that puts them in debt and puts them behind experts in the field. What options are left for someone who wants to move forward in a career like this and has to make a decision on what to do?
Broward College: Lower Cost Compared to Other Universities in Florida
Community college is the answer and a great example of that is Broward College. Whether it’s considered a community college or not, Broward now offers four-year degrees in several fields of study.
However, the two most important things for students to consider are the available classes, especially online, as well as the cost per class. The average class for BC is under $400 which is a fraction of the cost for the same classes at Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, University of Florida, University of South Florida and others. The average cost for a year of classes at most universities in the state of Florida is over $12,000 while the same course load would cost a student under $5,000.
Imagine two students who both want a degree in business. One attends Broward while the other attends Florida State University. The student attending Broward was able to build a schedule of online courses and options that fit their schedule so that they could also work to minimize their debt. Some companies will offer its employees assistance with tuition including reimbursement for pursuing degrees in approved fields. The other student attending FSU will have fewer options for classes to fit their schedule, making it more difficult to work while attending school and have to pay more than twice the cost per class. Over a period of four years, that’s a difference of at least $20,000.
If you are facing the difficult decision of choosing between work and school, you may want to consider an option that covers both. Broward or other community colleges may not be as flashy on the resume, but they will provide you with a degree in a field relevant to the career you wish to pursue for half the cost of a degree from somewhere else and you still have the advantage of being able to work or pursue additional education options while you are working on that degree.
Imagine being 22 years old and while others who wish to go into the same field as you have a degree from a university, they also have no experience and major debt. How many students will begin their career that way, not realizing that there was a better option that could give them a much easier start?
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About the Author
James Cox is born and raised in Oakland Park and attended St. Thomas Aquinas, FAU & Broward College. He has over 10 years of experience in copywriting, primarily for digital marketing. Recently, James has begun writing more published content including blogs and press releases for businesses throughout the United States and also works as a marketing consultant for small businesses. While he has a mixed relationship with traveling, James does enjoy going to Key West where he spent a large portion of his childhood. He frequently attempts to enjoy his favorite hobbies including fishing, lobstering, writing and binge-watching Community. He prides himself in being a very satirical writer and will often quote Hemmingway in his content. As a second-generation Oakland Park resident, James loves to visit and support local businesses, many of which have been around for decades.