We know that ‘Free Education’ is not necessarily free when it comes to the Irish education system. According to research carried out by a number of financial institutions, the costs of sending a student to college is more than €40,000 if a child is living away from home and that does not include college/student registration fees (which continue to increase). Whilst, the Union of Students, in Ireland, has put the average cost of going to college for a year at €9,000.
If you are considering going to college or returning to college as a mature student: familiarise yourself with the costs involved and how you will be able to afford such costs. If you want to make college worthwhile for you: research the industries and sectors with current or predicted skills shortages. Look at your current skills/abilities and identify gaps in your qualifications; look at all the ways to fill these skill gaps. It does not always take a degree to make you employable: look to Distance learning providers, evening course providers, PLCs and adult education centres.
During a recession there may be some industries in particular that collapse. These may include the construction industry. Therefore there will not be much demand for skilled workers related to these areas. Also, keep in mind the cuts to areas like education and how those cuts will affect the recruitment of new teachers. If you are interested in law – put some research into the amount of law firms which have closed or are downsizing. But, in contrast, there is may be a large demand for graduates with a background in IT, Science, Business and languages.
Is college worthwhile in a recession? According to national statistics: graduates are less likely to be unemployed compared to those who have a Leaving Certificate. In addition to this: spending a few years studying towards a beneficial degree is not a bad way to progress through recessionary times.