3 Professions That Will Pay Off Your Student Loan Debt
A college education isn’t cheap, a fact to which nearly all college graduates will easily attest. And as most college students need the assistance provided by student loans to get them through the process, it means that we walk out of school in debt. Fortunately, there are some professions that will help repay your student loans. Often called student loan forgiveness programs, these incentives could eliminate your student loan debt in a short period of time. While they could be offered in a variety of fields, they are most commonly associated with education, healthcare and law.
Should you choose to work in education, your chances of having your student loans paid for will increase sharply compared to your classmates who selected careers as engineers or accountants. Why? Because public school teachers, particularly in economically struggling areas of the nation, are in high demand. There are a variety of government and private programs designed to attract enthusiastic, innovative teachers to these inner-city areas.
Among the most prominent of these private programs are Americorps and Teach For America, which are highly competitive programs that place recent college graduates in inner-city public schools. Some participants in these private programs earn their graduate degrees for free while they teach students and establish their careers.
But Americorps isn’t the only program of its kind. If you are interested in teaching – particularly elementary-school students – ask your college advisor or career-counseling department for information on public and private programs for new teachers. You may be surprised at the opportunities out there for you. Remember that you will need to apply for these positions, and that they are incredibly competitive. Your grades as well as your commitment to education will impact whether you’re accepted.
College graduates who enter the healthcare field, regardless of their desire to eliminate their student loan debt, have a wealth of opportunities made available to them. Whether you desire to become a doctor or a nurse, or simply have certification in medical documentation and records keeping (a seriously expanding segment of the industry), there are jobs out there for graduates. But the field will narrow when student loan forgiveness is factored in.
Similarly to the philosophies with education-oriented student loan forgiveness, college graduates desiring to work in healthcare may find benefits if they choose to work in urban or inner-city areas. Programs such as the National Health Service Corps help to place these new professionals in areas where quality healthcare is needed most.
Throughout the nation, nurses are in high demand. There are a number of nursing incentive programs, many of which also will help you pay off your student loan debt. There is a Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program offered by the federal government, in addition to programs offered by nearly every state in the union. Your career services department will have ample documentation on the programs available to nurses.
While it will take a little longer to reap the benefits – and, likely, you’ll have significantly more debt on your hands – the legal field also offers student loan forgiveness plans. The philosophies are similar to other fields that help recent graduates pay off their student loan debt: communities throughout the country need quality, educated, and energetic professionals to serve them. Legal assistance is no different.
Many recent law school grads are recruited by legal assistance groups, which often work for non-profit organizations or with inner-city service organizations. And many municipalities, states and counties also offer benefits to recent graduates who choose to become public defenders or lawyers who work on behalf of the community (not prosecutors, but legal advisors and similar areas of the field). If these options interest you, consult not only your career-services department, but also your state bar association and any legal advising associations in your area. You could be surprised at the benefits that potentially await you.