I've got a degree, but a low wage and an overwhelming loan debt. How can I change this?

I've got a degree, but a low wage and an overwhelming loan debt. How can I change this? Find out on

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Answer Paywizard:

I greatly sympathize with the position you are in, and I can assure you that you are not alone. Throughout the country, hard-working Americans with college degrees are shocked to find out how difficult it is for them to find high-quality, well-paying jobs in today’s market, especially with less technical degrees in the humanities like English, Classics, History, and Anthropology. But have no fear! You can change your life for the better.

Here are some tips on how you can start to do this:

(1) If you are pursuing further schooling, seek training in a field in which there is high probability of securing stable employment.

i. Long-term solutions - One option that you may want to consider is a professional school: law school, medical school, policy school, or business school. Most schools have a vested interest in seeing their students well-placed upon graduation, and many schools offer debt forgiveness for graduates who pursue public service. Or, if you are considering private-sector work, you may find that you can secure jobs that will allow you to meet your financial needs while also paying off your loans.

ii. Short-term solutions – Thanks to the internet, there are literally hundreds of distance education courses that you can take in order to boost your technical skills in high-demand fields such as computer science, for example. Harvard’s Extension School, for example, offers several distance education courses for a reasonable fee. You can also secure small personal loans from your local bank to pay for such courses, with the goal of making yourself a more marketable candidate in the job market.

(2) Next steps – Since you are currently in a difficult and time-sensitive situation, I would suggest you proceed as such…
i. Get yourself out of the situation you are in by pursuing (1)(ii). Take a few courses in a field like computer science that you know will give you the opportunity to get a better paying job for the time being and then…
ii. Once you are more stable, seriously consider what you would like to do in the long-run. Perhaps you will be happy with your new track, or if you are still interested in a different path for your future, apply to a professional school and/or (if humanities is where your intellectual curiosity and commitment takes you, prepare for a PhD program.

By taking these steps, you will be able to both guarantee a degree of financial success and fulfill your desires to do the kind of job you seek to do. Best of luck!

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