Buying the Pursuit of Happiness

By Meliha Gutic

Staff Reporter

Would you choose a higher paying job over one that made you happy in the end?

The Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) reports 48% of employed college graduates are in a job that requires less than a four-year degree and 37% are in jobs that require only a high school diploma.

Often times, students have assistance in paying for their college education. The CCAP reports that college costs are rising, so when do you decide it is worth it?

With these four-year degrees, the expectation from peers is to immediately find a job in your field, and one that pays well. Yet as the CCAP says, that is not always the case.

“I do feel pressure to find a job as a college senior. The job market is becoming so competitive and with the pressure of paying off student loans, a job with a decent salary is not just desirable, it’s needed in order to be financially stable,” said senior Ashley Berardesca, a pre-occupational therapy major.

According to Time Magazine, “Many high-paid professions are high stress – and highly likely to lead to misery.”

There are many articles that suggest people quit those jobs to make themselves happier. But there are pros and cons to both money and happiness.

“I would not choose a higher paying job over one I would be happier with because if I am in a job I love with good working conditions and a positive environment, as well as a job that allows for greater personal autonomy, then this is indispensable to me, compared to a higher salary,” said Berardesca.

Many would agree with Berardesca because for her, happiness is greater than money. But for others, money would solve any financial problems they have.

“I would choose a higher paying job because I think I would be happier in knowing that I wouldn’t have any financial burdens. I would be able to live comfortably,” said junior Haily Reatherford.

The amount of money you make also depends highly on what your major is.

For example, the top ten highest paying jobs are in the medical field, according to

The CCAP stated, “Engineering and economics graduates, for example, typically earn almost double what social work and education graduates receive mid-year.”

“Every field has gotten so competitive and I’m scared that once I leave school, I won’t be able to find my place within the competition of the job field,” said Reatherford.

Some students are not as concerned with finding the right job after college.

“Depending on the situation, I might take the higher paying job if it benefits my lifestyle better, but I do believe happiness is the most important,” said junior Katie

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