Getting a higher education in the health field is still a smart idea. But after reading today’s New York Times article on the trouble newly minted veterinarians have getting jobs, you might want to rethink about vet medicine as your field.
The story by David Segal boils down to supply and demand: there are less pets, less money to spend on pet health and the number of veterinarians just keeps growing. Veterinary college prices are rising quickly, leaving many graduates with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans.
“Class sizes have been rising at nearly every school, in some cases by as much as 20 percent in recent years. And the cost of vet school has far outpaced the rate of inflation. It has risen to a median of $63,000 a year for out-of-state tuition, fees and living expenses, according to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, up 35 percent in the last decade,” says the article.
“This would seem less alarming if vets made more money. But starting salaries have sunk by about 13 percent during the same 10-year period, in inflation-adjusted terms, to $45,575 a year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. America may be pet-crazed and filled with people eager to buy expensive fetch toys and heated cat beds. But the total population of pets is going down, along with the sums that owners are willing to spend on the health care of their animals, one of the lesser-known casualties of the recession.”