The example of the journalism student with the $80k in loans is a good example of what happens when people have unrealistic expectations of their career choice. In a time when CNN no longer has an office of investigative journalism, and most 'news' sources are relying more and more on opinions, unpaid bloggers and pundits making money from the books they sell on the side, there is essentially no 'profession' left in that field worth pursuing. Perhaps she'll find a job at the Podunk Chronicle for $1/word, but I doubt that she'll find much more than that! Not today, not in the USA. At some point, you would THINK that a financial aid counsellor would tell her to face reality, and choose a degree that has at least some potential. As bad as her case is, it's hardly the worst I've heard. I was reading a story once about a man who owes $120k for his culinary college education, and all he could find in his field was a job as a line cook at a chain restaurant, for $10/hour. I managed to graduate more than a decade ago, with an engineering degree and $25k in loans, and even in my field, there are few jobs that pay more than squat.
BTW, as far as the teaching student is concerned; there are PLENTY of jobs in the field. You just need to make a commitment for something like 5 years, and teach in rural schools, mostly on Native American reservations. And, they'll pay for at least some of your loans.
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