Should You Go Into Debt for THAT Career?

A little more than two years ago, one of my bloggy buddies wrote a blog post about getting a degree in communications, and the debt that can be incurred. What happens when you have a large amount of debt from your communications degree, but you can’t get a job to make the payments?

Even though I have a communications degree, I can see his point. After all, if you end up with a huge amount of debt and you can’t find work that justifies it, you could find yourself in financial trouble. While education can be an investment in yourself, you do need to be choosy when deciding what career path you will follow.

Which Careers Pay Off, Even After You Go Into Debt?

Recently, I read a post on Yahoo! Finance that offers some insight into which careers are “worth” going into debt for. Some careers will pay off more than others. According to Yahoo! Finance, here are three of the best careers to go into debt for:

  1. Advertising
  2. Economist
  3. Civil Engineer

Yes, you might end up getting into debt to complete your education, but you will also probably make a decent amount of money over time. If you go into advertising, you can probably pay off your student loans in about eight years, according to the article. That’s not too shabby at all. Another example is the Gwynedd Mercy University nursing program. A small investment now will pay off majorly in the future.

Plus, in many cases you don’t need a master’s degree for advertising or for civil engineering (you might need one  as an economist, but it’s not always required).

But what about other careers?

Be Wary of Getting Into Debt for Certain Careers

The Yahoo! Finance article points out that it can be a bad idea to get into debt as a veterinarian. This surprised me, since I assumed that vets make pretty good money. And it turns out they do. The median pay for veterinarian  is almost $85,000 a year. However, there are some very high costs associated with becoming a vet. Since vets usually need eight years of school to do their thing, it can take about 28 years to pay off their student loand debt.

But that’s not too bad when you consider that it can take a reporter 32 years to pay off college debt and a marriage and family therapist 35 years to pay off college debt. For reporters, a lot of the trouble comes from the fact that they make so little money. And if you are working in the print industry, you run into the trouble associated with working for a dying industry.

The bottom line is that you need to carefully choose your career path — especially if you need student loans to make it happen. Yes, I have student loans that are the result of a communications degree and a journalism degree. But I’ve been able to parlay my skills and education into a decent career that allows me to manageably pay off my student loan debt. Part of that is due to the fact that I went to a small, inexpensive state school for my undergraduate studies.

As you decide how to handle your career, make sure you keep in mind the realities of the situation, and decide whether or not it makes sense to go into debt for school.

Image source: Army Medicen via Flickr


About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.