Education with high rates: does studying audiology pay off?
These days, it is not enough to simply study what you desire; money is controlling the possibilities for someone who has to choose a likeable and a profitable career. For instance, take the example with the ongoing issue of being an audiologist – Can a person really afford it?
The profession indeed sounds tempting and not overly stressful, but people are slowly turning their backs on studying audiology. The reason is becoming clearer every day – being an audiologist doesn’t pay off!
Education and tuition fees
Since 2012, the requirements for having a career as an audiologist have increased drastically. A master’s degree has become an insufficient prerequisite to practice in the field, and now, a candidate must earn a doctoral degree in order to be qualified for the job. Unsurprisingly, the problem is time and money invested in obtaining that degree.
After four mandatory, and one or two additional years for research, graduates can finally leave their studies, with a PhD diploma in one hand, and a student loan in the other. Granted, there are more opportunities and higher chances of getting a job, but there is a constant, long-lasting $100,000 burden that needs to be lessened. What does one do? The only way is to find a job and start working for the sole purpose of paying that loan back.
The average salary of an audiologist is about $67,000 per year; it could go higher, depending on many factors that can influence it – education level, years of experience, private vs. public sectors, schools vs. hospitals, etc. Nevertheless, they remain shorter than salaries of other physicians.
Although it is considered a profitable field with prospects of higher demands in the future, after the new educational system has been introduced, it puts the career at risk. It could be up to ten years before the student loans are paid back, and higher tuition fees are only deterring the students from choosing this profession.
Comparison with other medical careers
It is not at all shocking that prospective students are turning to alternative choices and different fields of study. Some decide to get their degree in speech-language pathology, while others may completely shift their preferences and turn to more profitable jobs.
One of these potential careers is, for instance, a surgical technician. The training lasts from 9 to 12 months, with many courses available online. The students are required to do internships and clinical training during this period and they soon end up working in hospitals and clinics with a decent salary. The median salary for surgical techs is about $43,000 per year, which, compared to audiologists with much more years of training and a PhD degree, makes this career certainly profitable.
All things considered, the current audiology educational model is in a great need to be revised. It should aim at becoming more affordable to students, rather than having to face its unstable future as a profession.