SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Millions of American students will graduate over the next few weeks, and choose a new path in life.
Whether it's a four year university, a community college, or trade school, the decision is a tough one -- especially with the rising cost of tuition and a challenging job market.
So how do you know what's right for you?
Many experts admit, times have changed and getting a bachelor's degree may not be the best option for everyone.
"its going to depend on the skill set, and what the requirements are, so that's what's changing in the job market," said Brad Hardison, the financial aid director at Santa Barbara City College.
"Loans have become a bigger part of education," added Steve Weir, the Exective Director of University Enrollment at Antioch University.
Even with a degree, many students have a tough time getting work to help pay off those loans.
Most experts agree, having a plan is key, and they recommend applying for financial aid. Most schools offer programs to ease the economic burden.
"We encourage students to minimize their loans," said Hardison.
"Hedging your bets means having your education not just for the piece of paper but what you can bring to that company," added Weir.
Recent statistics show people with a four year degree or higher earn more than those without, and fewer people with a degree are unemployed.