Neil Degrasse Tyson
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‘Is the degree worth what I have to pay for it?’: Neil deGrasse Tyson gets real on if it’s worth going to college

This all went down during Neil deGrasse Tyson's interview with VladTV.

Astrophysicist and television host Neil deGrasse Tyson shared his thoughts on whether individuals aspiring for well-paying jobs should pursue a college education in a recent interview on Vlad TV.

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During the discussion on May 25, Tyson would examine the pros and cons of a college education before opening up about the downside many would face. The 64-year-old disclosed that given the particular major one would study in school, most people would go into debt, ultimately making many wonder if a college degree is worth it:

“The two bits of that need to be separated. One of them is the debt that you will accrue for having gone to college if it can not be paid outright an be extraordinary if you are going to an elite private school especially, less so with state schools. But still, you’re not coming out debt free. So that has forced the conversation to say is the degree worth what I had to pay for… So I want to separate my answer from that issue. That’s a very important issue. ”

Further into the interview, Tyson expressed his opinion on the matter. The Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey host revealed that as he has gotten older, he realized that “college isn’t for everyone.” The reason behind Tyson’s statement is because he acknowledges that college is a lot of responsibility, and many need more time to be ready for it, so much so that a handful of people decide to attend community college beforehand. 

“My answer is as I have gotten older in life, I’ve come to learn that college is not for everyone. By whatever metrics we would invoke. There are people who can’t focus. They’re always distracted, might even just be ADD can it be medically tamp down or not. Are you responsible? Can you hold a schedule? Maybe that will happen later. That’s the whole point of community college.”

Tyson would also add that attending community college could benefit most people who had certain “circumstances” get in the way because it can help get their foot in the door, especially if they want to “possibly move on” and obtain a bachelor’s degree at a university.

“In community college, many of them if not most they were ready for college when everyone else was going to college at age 18 or age 17… There ‘s some circumstances that got in the way, and then they go back to school get an associates degree, as a terminal degree or possibly move on.”

Near the end of the conversation, Tyson wrapped up his remarks by saying that because of the recent advancements in social media, technology, and various careers, many would not need to get a higher education to achieve their goals. While at the same time, others would have to go back to school if their career is “swapped out.” Tyson also stated that college isn’t for learning but rather helps many become thinkers and problem solvers in their particular field.


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Diamond Jeune
Diamond Jeune is a freelance writer for We Got This Covered. She is also best known for her work with celebrity and entertainment coverage on Atlanta Black Star.