|Updated: 5/10/2012 10:33 pm
||Published: 5/10/2012 10:28 pm
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - Students line up to be recognized for their hard work and dedication. Pulaski Tech grads walk across the stage with confidence, but afterward, will those feelings disappear as college graduates face huge loan debt and an uncertain job market?
"In order to do what I really want I have to have a degree behind me, so it pushed me to go ahead and continue my education," said Mary Montgomery.
Graduates say the cost of an education is just the price you have to pay to get ahead in his world and facing thousands of dollars of debt is now the norm. Some have no job leads but know they're better off with a degree than without.
"Nowadays, you have to have a degree it's hard to get a job without a degree,” said Jamie Ballard.
Many college graduates say they may have to leave the state to find employment and are willing to go where the jobs are. Others specifically chose their field of study with the hopes of increasing their chances of landing a high paying job.
"33% higher need for my job than the average job so healthcare is a great industry to be going into because of that security,” says Jamie Ballard.
Kristen Hale is one of the few lucky ones graduating debt free thanks to scholarships, but her education doesn't stop here. She plans to continue to pursue her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy with hopes of receiving additional scholarship funding for that.
"There's ways to find money out there through scholarships. There are many private grants it's free money, if you write the essays you have to try and apply," say Kristen’s father Eddie Hall.