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Survey Finds Two-Thirds of American Employees Regret Their Advanced College Degrees

Survey Finds Two-Thirds of American Employees Regret Their Advanced College Degrees

“loans burdening millions of Americans have become a hot-button issue among some Democratic presidential candidates”

How fascinating that this report came out one day before the first Democrat debate where this issue will surely be a focus.

CBS News reports:

Two-thirds of American employees regret their college degrees

A college education is still considered a pathway to higher lifetime earnings and gainful employment for Americans. Nevertheless, two-thirds of employees report having regrets when it comes to their advanced degrees, according to a PayScale survey of 248,000 respondents this past spring that was released Tuesday.

Student loan debt, which has ballooned to nearly $1.6 trillion nationwide in 2019, was the No. 1 regret among workers with college degrees. About 27% of survey respondents listed student loans as their top misgiving, PayScale said.

The findings illustrate why education loans burdening millions of Americans have become a hot-button issue among some Democratic presidential candidates. Most recently, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday proposed a plan to impose a tax on Wall Street trading and use the proceeds to erase that $1.6 trillion of debt.

About 70% of college students graduated with student loan debt this year, averaging about $33,000 per student. And as younger grads pay off student loan balances, they’re struggling to accumulate wealth or are putting off purchasing homes — some millennials are even struggling to purchase groceries.

It’s not just millennials. Baby boomers are taking on student loan debt either to help cover college costs for their children or to retrain themselves for a workplace transformed by increased automation, cloud computing and other labor-saving technologies. Some Americans age 62 and older are using their Social Security benefits to pay off more than $86 billion in unpaid college loans.


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No, this doesn’t say that they regret their degrees. It says that a minority regret the loans they took out to get them. That’s an entirely different thing.

Is it possible for the mainstream media to report anything that’s NOT fake news?

    healthguyfsu in reply to irv. | June 26, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    This * 1000.

    The data are much more an indictment of immaturity and poor decisions (or lack of informed choices) than anything else.

    26% (not exactly an overwhelming majority) regret because of cost
    (which does not segregate clearly from other factors listed…for example, it’s quite possible to regret cost because of a poor choice of major or poor self-discipline which made their college tenure into a bad investment)

    Almost all of the remaining reasons for regret are based on immaturity or poor decision-making
    -not performing well
    -poor choice of major
    -poor choice of school
    -poor networking (should have visited the career center!)
    -time management and time requirements (in my experience, the low performing students complain impatiently about the time the most)

I actually got paid more from the VA to go to college than I made as an E-4. And they paid tuition. Heh.

They signed legal documents to take out and repay a loan. Grow up and repay the loan. It’s an investment in yourself. It’s up to you to make it worth the money.

    CorkyAgain in reply to fxdwg69. | June 26, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    It’s not always an “investment in yourself”. Many degrees are the academic equivalent of a meal at an expensive restaurant, a Broadway play, or a trip abroad. Pleasantly entertaining, perhaps, while they last. But once they’re over you have little to show for it but the bill.

    I have nothing against people spending their money on such things — not even if it’s attendance at a so-called “party school” — but I have no sympathy for them when they whine afterwards about how much it cost.

And the other 30% were medical or STEM degrees.

With a significant amount of the student loan debt racked up from post-graduate degrees (2012 figure 40% of loans from post-grad), and the hiding of the actual breakdown (details between amount, distro, and degrees) it really doesn’t seem like a problem.
44/320 have debt=13%, with vast majority of debtors having small debts from a 4 year, not post-graduate. (I’m calling 25K small). Figures show average debt monthly for this year’s graduates as $227 which is a small car payment.

It seems to me the real problems that the new graduates have is that they are not finding the jobs to fit their gender diversity or sociology of white oppression degrees.

The conclusion and the “study” are not in sync. Clearly the person who did the study does not have an advanced degree in statistics and correlation.

healthguyfsu | June 26, 2019 at 2:36 pm

I find it suspect that the CBS article does not link to the survey taken.

That’s just shoddy reporting.

Publius_2020 | June 26, 2019 at 8:37 pm

You can read the original publication here:

Obviously, the nitwits in the media are unable to express even the most basic statistics in an accurate way. The question posed was “Looking back on your education what do you most regret?” The 2/3 figure corresponds to those who identified some (any) regret from a list, as opposed to choosing “I have no regrets.”

I regret using my corporate Amex card to buy lap dances and VIP room action for all my buddies at that bachelor party. Can we write that off too?

    Better that you had gotten a job in the federal government where such “expenses” are covered under teamwork and team building conferences.

When I was still professing history at a mid-level state university, I used to get asked by potential graduate students, often wives whose husbands had jobs in the area, about working for a graduate degree. I was
honest and told them it would be a lousy investment and that they would be better off financially in the long run even if the alternative was a minimum wage job. I was alone in that among my colleagues–all of whom were eager to build little empires of graduate students.
Therein lies much ofthe problem of excessive student debt.

“colleagues–all of whom were eager to build little empires of graduate students.
Therein lies much of the problem of excessive student debt.”
That my be the biggest problem…the criticism is usually directed at poor decisions made by 18 y/o, 22 y/o etc. students whose poor academic choices are encouraged by an “education” system that financially benefits. All of the academic “advisors”, Profs., etc. encouraging students to “follow their passion” and get a master’s degree in 1920s Lesbian film studies so that members of the “studies” dept can get a pay check, travel and publish shit that no one reads.

I think that the law should be changed so that educational debt can be discharged via usual legal practices but that the education institution should be on “the hook” for about 75% of that debt. That might encourage colleges to do their damn jobs.