I can identify with this. After paying for a $60000 law school education (a bargain, especially considering I had no undergrad debt) and finding out that law was a complete waste of time and made no real difference in anyone’s life, I looked around at the jobs I really wanted and that would make a difference. I literally could not afford to take them. Luckily, through a friend of mine, I got a job as a director of volunteers at a local hospice. I got a much higher salary than the lady before me, but at $460 a month in education bills, I am still just barely making ends meet and struggling to save for retirement.
The author is right in that young people go to college and take out loans thinking “I can pay it back when I get a real job.” A couple of problems persist with this— 1) there are not that many “white collar” jobs out there for new grads especially— even in the legal market, it is very difficult for new lawyers to find a job and they will be luckily to crack $40K if they can find one, and 2) most young people are living in dorms with parental allowances when they are making these decisions. Few understand how many bills there are in real life that you are not worrying about in college. e.g. health insurance, car insurance, renters insurance, heat, water, etc etc. It doesn’t take long to eat up a paycheck.
Having prosecuted over 3000 felonies, I can assure you I've "made a difference" in many peoples lives.
My niece graduated from college a few years ago with some sort of telecommunications degree. She’s only 25, and she just bought a house. She’s already making over $80K a year.
She just got an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M.
Then there’s my other niece who got a marketing degree from A&M. She got a job for about $30K, and her parents and fiance have had to help her out.
Get a degree based on the job market. See how much you want to make and what kinds of jobs will provide that job. Then go for the degree.