Economy Advice: Maybe Grads Should Stay in College

Grads have a few tough choices to make, as a result of the recession and the very difficult employment market. The global economy's sudden downturn has created many uncertainties.

This situation has made it seem that the main choices for grads are leaving college or staying. However, there are other options, if you're prepared to be a bit more maneuverable, where you can get the best of both choices.

Stay or go? The issues

The choice of staying or going creates some instant practical situations:


  • More fees and a new student loan.
  • Delay in getting experience to go with the degree(s).
  • Maybe living at home for another 4 years.
  • No income except the old college type jobs.


  • Risk the current job market.
  • No certainties about making any professional headway in a very cost conscious environment.
  • Need to rely on job as a way of living independently
  • Not sure about the whole issue when work's so hard to find and cost of living so expensive.

Get your facts straight

These are all clear issues of practicalities. Some of these options will be doable, some won't. The natural desire to avoid risk is the right approach.

Before you make any decisions:

Check your industry:
Get a good clear picture of the state of the job market, and the likelihood of your getting a job at your level.

Check fees for staying in college:
This could be a big added cost, and you must be able to manage it. Shop around, see what's available, and look hard at options for staging a self funded form of education. There are usually some additional postgraduate qualifications you can get without major financial issues.

Check out living costs for going solo:
These costs can be a big shock, particularly if you're used to a home/campus environment. Look for good quality options.

Other options

It's not immediately obvious, but there are some alternatives to the stay or go scenarios. You may be able to have the cake and eat it too, if you can find the right opportunities: 

Internships serve multiple purposes, both as part of a qualification process, and as work experience.

You can get: 

  1. The credentials for the internship, whether at college or not,
  2. The work experience,
  3. The opportunity for a job, in some cases
  4. Contacts for getting work
  • Government jobs: A little known fact of government jobs is that they provide a lot of options for further training, even funding, in some cases. You could have a job, and still get the training, and have your cost of living covered.
  • Freelance and contract work: Whether you're at college or not, you can get work, in many different ways. If you're in a line of work like media, fashion, advertising or marketing, which uses portfolios as its resume staple diet, you can also get started on building a professional portfolio.
  • Self employment: If you have a viable business proposition, you can do some self funding, and start building your own resume with a business. Just make sure you've got a good working option, because businesses can be time consuming, and should do more than pay for themselves.

Remember- You can call the shots. Take the initiative, and start running your life the way you want it.