According to USA Today, 22.7% of student loans are in default at present, with no sign of this number not continuing to rise in the future. This presents a very distinct potential dangerous economic future for those with student loans. I am a strong advocate for education and believe teachers should be among the highest paid of all professions, so please do not misunderstand what I am about to say about education and about being willing to pay for a good education.
Proponents of higher education respond skeptically to the notion that there would be any kind of a dangerous economic future for those with student loans. Yet, the statistics don’t lie. The number of students who are defaulting on their student loans is on the rise. Such a statistic would point to a growing concern that in today’s volatile and uncertain economy, and highly competitive workplace, an education at any level does not guarantee anyone a job that will be sufficient enough to pay down their student loans and still be able to afford the cost of living associated with an independent lifestyle. The tens (and sometimes hundreds) of thousands of dollars in student loans that came as a result of the hope that a better education would be a guarantee that someone could find a good job is simply not the case.
According to the Wall Street Journal, over 40% of students are not making payments on their student loans and almost 12% are in default, with no sign of this number not continuing to rise in the future.
While a college education may at times open doors for you, it is NOT a college degree that gets you a seat at the decision maker’s desk for the final interview. It is the skill sets, life experience, and business acumen that employers need and are looking for in order to remain competitive. Even still, there are NO guaranties in corporate America (or the world) for anyone, including those with college degrees, even with the skill sets and acumen that companies need. The examples of massive layoffs and downsizing that are in the media almost every week drives this reality home.
So,what is the take away from this information?
- Build your personal and professional value by learning to recognize opportunity when it comes to your life and taking advantage of it when it does. Don’t just settle for a job for the sake of having a job and being unemployed, but strive to position yourself for the greatest amount of exposure to the greatest number of potential business/employment opportunities.
- The goal in your professional career should not be to just find a job, but to make yourself valuable enough to a potential employer that they do not want to lose you to one of their competitors.
- Live your life with an understanding that in today’s highly competitive marketplace, it is no longer that you will be hired to trade one hour of your time for one hour of pay, but for the added value you bring to your employer in that hour of time. In other words, employers do not want to pay you for your time, but for the value you bring them in the time they pay you for.
- Learn to be an opportunist. One way to refine this skill set is to always be on the look out for business opportunity in whatever form it may come to you. Learn to spot holes in business where there is a need, and refine your skill sets to know how to quickly fill those needs, i.e. become an avid problem solver and not just a problem spotter.
- Learn how to recognize business ideas or opportunities that will create jobs. This is the key to business and economic growth, and if you learn to do this, you will become invaluable to any employer that you work for; and, in being such, rapidly rise to stardom in the company you work for.