Re-Thinking The Pathway To Higher Education

We have finished another school year with over 3 million high school graduates. Congratulations! Seventy percent will go on to a four-year college, even though according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only 27% of the jobs created through 2022 will require a four-year degree and 70% of all new Wisconsin jobs being created will only require a high school degree, according to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Skills Gap Report. Based on the BLS data, National Public Radio (NPR) makes the “tongue in cheek” analogy that you could close every two and four-year College for 10 years and still meet the industry demand for college graduates.

Nineteen percent of these new high school graduates will finish their four-year degree in four years. Congratulations! Thirty-nine percent more will complete that four-year degree in six years. For the rest, life just goes on. Of those who do graduate, only about 30% will find jobs in their field do to a job market saturated with previous college graduates. Are we over-educated? Are we just choosing degrees that do not equate to a job after graduation? Or, do we just not understand our options?

College graduates will have an average student loan debt of $30-50,000 depending on which completion plan they were on, with many having student loan balances in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Total student loan debt is $1.3 trillion today and rising $3.300 every second. Congratulations! Did you know that higher education was a one-half trillion dollar industry? Paying back your federal student loan starts six months after graduation and has two options: 1) monthly payments over 10-25 years or 2) death.

There were over two million college graduates this year. Congratulations! Twenty one percent had jobs when they graduated with an average salary of $40,000, or about $20 per hour. Congratulations? That is until the minimum wage moves to $15.00 per hour, then the whole return on investment college argument becomes suspect. Thirty nine percent took jobs that did not require a college degree even though they just spent four to six years of their lives and $30-50,000 getting one. Can you spell barista? For the other 40%, life just goes on.

Today, in the United States, there are more 18-34 year olds living at home than at any time since 1880. Congratulations! This makes perfect sense. A college graduate earns $40,000, Uncle Sam takes 25%, and the average monthly expenses for a 20-something living alone is about $2,600. Ouch, we are in negative territory. Let us look at all millennials. The average salary is $27,000, Uncle Sam takes 15%, and the expenses are still about $2,600. Even more negative! Pretty tough to stay out of the red being a single college graduate or millennial. Note to parents: make sure you save a room at the inn.

The PayScale Website points out that many careers we assume require a four-year college degree can actually be started with a two-year degree. The break-even earnings point for students pursuing this career pathway is about 10 years. You say sure, but after 10 years the four-year college grad will earn more, right? Nope. I forgot to mention that after two years on the job the two-year graduate went back to college using tuition reimbursement from the employer and earned a four-year degree. With the gained experience, four-year degree, and no student loan debt, the two-year career pathway choice was the best value with greater lifetime earnings.

The Over Educated Generation is a new organization founded by Steve Burleson in 2016. As a Technical College educator for 17 years and parent, Steve saw and experienced the mixed messages that confront our students, children, parents and educators, as they navigate the confusing, false promise ridden pathway to higher education.

Our goal is to: “Educate everyone who needs to know the truth about academic & career pathways, the options available and where to find the “value” in the system. We will push for reforms and accountability so our students will not have to mortgage their futures to have fulfilling careers. ” EDUCATION IS OUR MAIN PURPOSE!


The Various International Educational Packages Which Can Make Studying Abroad Possible

Many talented and qualified students dream of studying abroad which is nipped in the bud when one thinks of the expenditure involved in all the preparation, the actual cost of living in another country with a different currency system, and paying for extra tuitions etc which are part of the entire package of studying abroad. So obviously the main worry that bogs down a promising student is how to pay for the entire process. That is what we are going to discuss in this article and make everyone breathe easy with useful information regarding the cheap educational packages which are applicable internationally, mainly the US and UK.

Cheap International Educational Packages are mainly available in three formats; partial or full scholarships, research or teaching assistantships in which you are required to work for a set number of hours each week in exchange for tuition fees waived off, and a loan or a stipend which requires a US citizen as a guarantor. Careful planning, positioning and resourcefulness, and calculated risk taking have become critical in getting the above mentioned financial aids and only merit is not the deciding factor. That having been said, it is not all that difficult to finding funds if you are that brilliant in your studies, and posses sheer intellectual brilliance. You will be evaluated on the basis of merit and if you cross the hurdles then your dream might just come true.

There is the option for applying for international student grants which the outstanding students from around the globe can consider which will ensure that they can get admitted in and continue their studies in the best international universities, schools or colleges without burning a hole in their pockets. Cheap International Educational Packages are available for students who are especially willing to pursue their studies in the United Kingdom where grants are available for the meritorious and the really deserving candidates. Major universities of the country run some of the best scholarship programs which are awarded to the outstanding students, and there are the options of educational grants like the Rhodes scholarship or the Commonwealth fellowships which are prestigious and effective. The good news is that some of these grants are exclusively reserved for the meritorious candidates that hail from countries like China, India and other Caribbean countries.

An international scholar will need tuition and maintenance cost, travel cost and these grants provide all that and some more. But to gain all these student has to excel in extracurricular activities, show outstanding proficiency in learning, and last but not the least, moral strength of character. One who is interested to know more about the Cheap International Educational Packages may look into more information regarding these grants from a nearest British Council. In the US however, it becomes a bit tougher where educational grants are concerned though there are grants like the Pell Grants, and the Fulbright Grants which are extremely limited and thus hard to obtain. What you can do in such a situation is get in touch with the Department for Development Support and Management Services, of the United Nations which control many funds for students from emergent or developing countries. Canada is also a lucrative option when it comes to studying abroad, and there are many renowned universities there which provide high quality degrees which are internationally recognized and treasured. However it must be mentioned that all the preparation for availing these grants, scholarships or loans must be started way ahead of the actual year when the student is ready to apply to the international forum of study. The procedure should be treated with patience and should be persevered diligently, because at the end, the result will get you, your coveted place in any international university that you choose.


How Is Getting a Master’s Programme Abroad Beneficial?

Should I pursue a master’s programme? It’s a question most professionals and newly graduates think after pondering what to do next with their career. The answer to this question, however, does not end with a simple “yes” or a “no”. It bears another question, which is “where should I study, here or abroad?” In this article, we’ll help you realise that when it comes to getting a master’s programme, obtaining it abroad is better.

People have different reasons for wanting to have a masters programme. One may want to invest in his future and pursue his interests in more depth. Others are thinking of expanding their connections in the professional industry, which might be helpful for future collaborations or projects. Whatever your reasons are, one thing is certain – you must look forward to reaping the benefits of graduate studies.

Global exposure and diverse international community. Students who choose a master’s programme abroad are most likely from different countries and walks of life; thus, it is your exposure to different cultures, people, and beliefs that makes an overseas education interesting. Moreover, it is one of the best ways to make connections. It is a valuable and meaningful experience to gaining contacts and friends around the world.

Access to scholarships and funding opportunities. There are universities that offer full-tuition scholarships to deserving individuals. The catch is you have to join a challenge, submit a proposal, or look for sponsors. While you may have earned enough for further studies, getting a scholarship is a big advantage. You may spend your money to other things, such as personal or research-related expenses.

Shorter programmes. Some countries, such as Australia and Singapore, offer one-year master’s programmes. Let’s say you decide to get a graduate program in Singapore and you specialise in Public Management or Public Administration, there are universities that offer graduate programmes for one year. A class is usually composed of 20 to 40 students. If you have attained mid-level managerial position in your career, you are eligible for a Master in Public Administration. Here, you will be given an intensive and interdisciplinary training that will strengthen your decision-making and planning skills in addressing global and national issues. There are also programmes that run for two years. With just a short period of time, you will have another feather in your cap.

Upgrading your curriculum vitae. Most multinational companies hire employees that are well experienced and diverse. When you present your resume and they see that you have taken your masters programme overseas, this gives them the impression that you have been exposed to different cultures and flexible to traveling. This increases your chance of landing a job in the company.

Learning language skills. Good communication skills take its roots from being proficient in languages, whether it’s English or a foreign language. Doing a master’s abroad provides you an opportunity to improve your language and even learn a new one. And knowing two or more languages will definitely make you stand out from the crowd.


Why Study Abroad?

When I was a sophomore in high school, my parents had an idea that I should go to the U.S. to study. Back then, I could not imagine leaving my friends, family, or my entire life behind. Not only that, but to attend college in an unfamiliar place where people speak a different language, think differently, and most importantly to me – eat different food. Luckily, throughout high school I gave it a lot of thought and eventually I made up my mind that after I graduated high school I would leave my home country to get my bachelor’s degree in the U.S.

Getting to know other cultures

By being an international student in the United States, one learns cultures of the entire world. Every U.S college is filled with people that are coming from all around the world. You meet people from different walks of life every day, they tell you stories about their countries, traditions, values that they recognize, food that they eat, and suddenly you realize that you have been living on “another planet”. On the other hand, there are people from places where the culture sounds very similar to the one that you are from. In these situations, you feel as though you have lived in the same country but it is just located on the other side of the earth. After some time, you decide you want to visit all of these countries because you feel like you don’t know anything about the world.


Whenever you break the language barrier and the fear of unknown, you get more comfortable with yourself and your confidence grows as well. You are not scared to try new things anymore, you try things that you never imagined you would try before, and you are not shy to start conversation with other people, because you now know that they love your accent. All of a sudden you feel like there is nothing that can scare you, and that you will get through everything that ever stands in the way in your life.

Being self-contained

Once you left your country and your parents, you took all the responsibility for yourself. Your family can help you, but they are thousands of miles away. So the earlier you realize the reality of having to be independent, the better. Even though the reality might sound nice at first, not after long you learn that being responsible is not fun.

Become humble

And then it comes to you. After a few years of studying abroad you come to conclusion that you know nothing about the world, and that there is so much more to learn about life, the planet, and people. You look at people differently you judge less because only now you see how people are different in different parts of the world. How they are better in many things, and only now you see how much better you can be in school, at a sport you do, but most importantly how much of a better person you can be.

Whole new perspective of life

You have become a new person. Before, the only thing that you were concerned about was money, how to get a well-paid job, get rich, and have nice things. However, after spending some time in a place with so many nationalities and cultures, you realize that money is not everything. It might sound like a cliché, but you learn that you want to explore all the cultures that you didn’t even imagine before. Now you understand that there is not really right and wrong in life, because everyone has their own way to live their life. People from other countries have different values and put importance in different things. This is where you learn to not judge others and accept their opinions even if you do not fully agree with them.

Top 5 Study Abroad Myths

Myth #1: Only the rich can afford to study abroad

The cost of studying in an institution abroad may not necessarily be more than studying in one’s own country. Often, the government sponsors the student’s abroad study programs through some scholarships. A number of private scholarships and fellowships are always there for scholars that can help them cover a good portion of their expenses.

Myth #2: Graduate programs often take more time abroad as compared to one’s own country.

This is one of the most wide-spread myth. Students often fear the option of studying abroad because of the rumour that studying abroad may take more time than it takes to study in one’s home-country. The courses in the U.S, provide you great specialization in your field, but this does not necessarily mean that it is going to take you a lot of time to complete the course. All of it depends on your performance and your learning ability.

Myth #3: One should opt to study abroad only after graduation.

The U.S, education system is considered one of the best in the world due to the fact that they provide specialization in their programs. The U.S, government spends a lot of money on the research and development fields. Thus, the colleges are well funded and they have enough resources to provide practical knowledge and specialisation to the undergrad students. This helps them build a better foundation in their students. It is a good idea to start your abroad studies as early as you can.

Myth #4: Studying abroad is not safe.

The only difference that studying abroad comes with is the difference in the education system of the countries. People may be a bit different from your home-country and the culture may be different, but we assure you that they will all be humans. Students are asked to be cautious, but associating studying abroad with a certain danger is foolish. Further, the study abroad offices notify the students about the matters of safety and health beforehand.

Myth #5: Abroad programs and degrees are not useful back at home

The degree and the knowledge you earn from an abroad program hold equal importance as the degree in your home country. The students are advised to find out about the syllabus of every class, seek your advisor’s advice on the kind of credit that can be earned and ensure that you have it in writing. You must be assured of getting credit for all your efforts abroad.

Uncovering the True Costs to Study Abroad

Living and learning in a foreign country is a great way for college students to broaden their horizons and gain global experiences. Studying abroad is becoming more common as colleges increasingly require students to spend time overseas and as more entry-level positions look for this on a résumé. It’s important to plan for the added expenses that come with studying abroad to make the experience rewarding for your student and your finances. Here are a few things to consider:

Program costs

Make sure you understand the program costs. Some colleges strive to make programs equal to your usual tuition payment; however the program costs may vary with the country and length of program. Many programs require a 10 to 20 percent down payment when your student applies for it, and you may need to submit installments in the weeks leading up to the program.

Financial aid

Check with your son or daughter’s financial aid office to ensure any current scholarships and loan dollars follow him or her overseas. If your student received third-party scholarships, notify the organizations about your child’s plans as well. Encourage your student to ask if their college has special funds available for study abroad programs. It’s also important to research third-party scholarship opportunities.

Cost of living

Ask if room and board costs are included in the program, or if they are an additional expense. If your student is responsible for securing his or her own housing, costs may vary based on the city and style of living. Work with your student’s study abroad office to find the best fit for your student’s safety, desired cultural experiences and budget. Keep in mind that housing and spending money will go further in a country with a lower cost of living, particularly in a strong dollar environment.

Cell phone coverage

Most cell phone companies charge a premium for international calling and texting – and that’s only if the phone is compatible with international networks. Contact your cell phone carrier to determine if your student’s cell phone will work overseas and if additional charges apply. Web-based telephone services such as Google Voice or Skype may be an economical alternative.

Insurance coverage

Check to see if accident and sickness insurance is included in program fees. If your child has ongoing healthcare needs, you may need a supplemental policy as basic insurance may not be enough. Educate your son or daughter on how their insurance will apply overseas so they understand when to pay for healthcare expenses out of pocket.

Travel expense

Remember to factor transportation expenses into your budget. Expenses may include flights to and from the host country and daily public transportation while your child is in the program. Talk to your student about their desires to travel more broadly within the country or region they are studying in, and add those to your budget as well.

Consider bringing your child to meet with your financial advisor, who can help you plan for your student’s essential and unexpected expenses while overseas. Planning for all aspects of studying abroad will allow you to feel more comfortable financially, enabling your student to have an experience he or she will treasure for years to come.

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