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Beware the Sucking Void of Student Debt

Posted by TestOut Staff on

I’m a firm believer that education is the ladder to a more bountiful and fulfilling life. People with little to no educational opportunities too often face lives of scarcity and struggle. Unfortunately, the cost of education continues to climb at an unprecedented rate. Consumer Report recently partnered with The Center for Investigative Reporting to conduct a survey on the student debt crisis. The 1,500 respondents painted a picture that isn’t pretty — student loan debt in the United States is almost $1.4 trillion, an amount that exceeds all credit card debt!

Money problems

Even more shocking is how little advice most of these students received prior to taking on the debt. An astounding 62 percent didn’t receive any formal advice or guidance before accepting their loans. Of the 38 percent who did attend a financial aid information session, less than half said the terms and conditions of the various loan types and repayment options were clearly explained. Perhaps saddest of all is that 45 percent of respondents said that, for them, college wasn’t worth the cost.

Student debt is a serious issue. Far too often, far too much money is borrowed. The burden of repayment can last a lifetime, causing people to put off important events like home purchases and saving for retirement.

I still believe that education is vitally important, but I now lean heavily in favor of certifications. Even if you have a college degree, the added advantages of an IT certification are significant. They include:

  • Increased earning power compared to non-certified peers
  • Ability to maximize career opportunities by validating your skill set and knowledge
  • An excellent way to demonstrate to employers that you have initiative to learn new skills
  • A means of keeping your knowledge up-to-date and reskilling as needed

Employers increasingly love certifications as well. According to a recent report by CompTIA:

  • 93 percent of HR professionals value IT certifications, saying that an IT credential really stands out to employers.
  • 91 percent say that IT certifications play a key role in the hiring process and see them as a reliable predictor of a successful employee.
  • 93 percent said that an IT certification enables employees to learn their jobs faster.

The right certification will open the door to more opportunities, a higher salary, and increased confidence in your abilities. To top it off, certifications are also less expensive than a college degree, and can usually be earned in months rather than years.

Although there are plenty of IT jobs available, the competition for the best jobs is increasingly tough. Some 93 percent of those hiring for IT positions report that finding the right candidate for job openings is a huge challenge. So why not give your career an added boost by earning a needed certification?

Chuck NorrisAbout the AuthorCalvin Harper is an associate editor for GoCertify and a veteran of the publishing industry. Calvin reminds all students in need of improved cashflow to perform an exhaustive search for grants and scholarships before considering a loan.

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