In this day and age, higher education is important for sure, but it's also expensive. Depending on what career field you go into, you can at times, walk out of school being well over $100,000 in debt. And at the same time, the trades have been showing a bit of a decline over the years.

But is that high-end schooling worth it in the long run? Do people who get a four year degree fair better? According to a study of over 4,500 colleges by Georgetown University, maybe not. Long term, what schools yield the best return on your investment?

Interestingly, if you look at the top 10 schools, the top three are all medical/pharmacy related. MIT and Harvard placed well behind those. And guess what school also ranked higher than MIT and Harvard? Maine Maritime Academy, according to the BDN. So careers in trade style jobs are becoming super hot.

When you factor in the amount of debt you graduate with, the starting pay of most jobs with these degrees, and default rate on loans. MMA is tough to beat. They typically place 90% of their grads in jobs within 90 days. And since they make better money out of the gate, they have a low rate of student loan default.

And this could be said of the trades in general. For instance, you can become an electrician just by apprenticing under a master. Add in some community college classes to round that out, and you'll be smack dab in the middle if high paying career within a few years of graduating high school.

What someone wants to do with their lives is obviously up to them. But the more I read stuff like, if I had to do it all over again, why wouldn't someone get into trades? Or jobs that aren't considered 'white collar'? There's a whole bunch of money out there on the table, so why not go get it?

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