Archive | December 2014

What is the Value of a College Degree?

With college graduates being steeped in deeper debt than ever before, it’s not unreasonable for people to be questioning what the true value of a college degree is in this day and age. However, some research into debt and university costs presented by an article in Liberty Street Economics indicates that the value of a bachelor’s degree today is still at approximately the same record-high value it’s been at for the past decade.

The authors of the article, Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz, use a statistic called “net present value (NPV)” to describe the dollar value of a bachelor’s degree. While the NPV of a bachelor’s degree has fallen slightly since its peak in 2000, it is still among the highest levels it’s ever been at, and significantly higher than where it was in the 1970s, 80s and early 90s.

Meanwhile, the amount of years needed to recoup the cost of a bachelor’s degree has been on a downward trend since the early 1980s, when it peaked at around 23 years. Today, it takes about ten years for the average graduate to regain the amount of money spent on a college education, slightly up from the low point of eight to nine years hit in 2000 and 2012. This means that despite the challenges of the job market perceived in college graduates today, they’re actually getting back the money they spent on their degree in near-record time with the value of that degree at a near-record high.

These numbers show more reason to believe that things are looking up in financially for recent college graduates who are still experiencing sticker shock over their student loans.


Lower Your Expectations to Find Greater Happiness

manage-expectations-webToday we are going to continue to take a closer look at the great points made by Tim Hoch in his article for Thought Catalog, “10 Ways You’re Making Life Harder Than It Has To Be.” We’re focusing on point four: having unrealistic or uncommunicated expectations.

It’s so easy for us to build up expectations in our mind of how others will treat us, whether it’s coworkers, superiors, friends or family members. But building up unrealistic expectations only serves as a good way for us to create scenarios in which we are extremely likely to be let down.

The fact is that people can’t read your mind, and they can’t possibly know what your expectations are unless you communicate them. This isn’t to say that the solution is to vocalize your unrealistic expectations, though better communication of reasonable expectations is always encouraged. Rather, you should attempt to lower your expectations instead. Lower expectations make it much harder for you to be let down.

As Hoch says in the article, “minimize your expectations, maximize your joy.” Developing a more realistic view about what you can expect from other people and how you can share those expectations will make your life a whole lot easier.