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This is a Guest Post from Andrew Puco

For every college student the single most important thing to accomplish while in school is to acquire a high-quality education. Additionally, amongst other things you also learn time management and independence.

The harsh reality of higher education is the very high cost. Some schools, particularly private schools can cost a lot more than say a community college. When you go to an expensive school, in a way you’re paying for their brand name. Like buying a 30 pack of Budweiser over Keystone.  When the economy was in a better state, having a desirable brand name degree was a one-way ticket to a good job.  Sadly today this is not reality.

There are a lot of people who spent a lot of cash or took on boatloads of debt to pay for a college education. For some of them the investment paid off, perhaps for others it was a poor investment. Maybe that money could have been used for something else such as capital to start a small business, or even possibly to pay for a home. (Prices are at record lows). Something is going on, like a perfect storm.

We have a poor economy and the problems going on now in Europe will not make it any better. More and more Americans have “a degree.” Supply and Demand…

Then comes the idea of outsourcing. In this technological age it’s easy for a company to have someone in China or India do a task if it can be easily sent over the Internet. Or even if it needs to be shipped cheaply on a big container boat. “Slow boat it.”  This article was written in Mexico where monthly rent is $200 with electricity compared to $800 in the states.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people getting a desirable degree who find excellent jobs. But today, finding a “good” job is difficult. Getting a degree is never a bad thing. Learning information, reading and challenging your mind is wonderful. Chances are that if you are reading this article you are currently enrolled college, or have your mind-set on attending and that’s good for you, but you should do your best to learn as much as possible or even focus exclusively on one particular thing in college. For example, focus on Photoshop, or nursing.

Employers are not just looking for bodies, they want talent.

Instead of looking to just “get a degree” it may be wiser to forget about the degree and just get a high-quality education, knowledge is power. Those with the power have the money and those with the money have the power.

It’s not ALWAYS a good idea to use rate my professor to find the easiest professor. The hard teacher might really be good for you!

Remember, teachers work for you, not the other way around. Don’t forget that! For example when a teacher is always late, or cancels classes often. Ask more questions, do additional work above what is required for him or her to critique. Visit your teacher during their office hours. You are paying him or her for their time. If he does not show up, you just lost money.

The lesson is: get your moneys worth!

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