Is A Degree From Colorado Technical University Worthless?

Colorado Technical University (CTU) is a for-profit university that has faced scrutiny over the value of its degrees versus their high cost. With tuition running tens of thousands of dollars higher than comparable public schools, many graduates have found their CTU credentials ignored or looked down on by employers and graduate programs. But is the negativity towards CTU degrees warranted, or can they still offer career advancement? This article will examine the reasons why some view CTU as a ‘degree mill’ versus arguments defending its academic merits to help readers weigh the true value of a Colorado Technical University education.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Opinions are mixed on the worth of a CTU degree. While CTU is accredited and offers many flexible programs, its high costs and job placement rates lead some to see a CTU degree as poor ROI compared to public schools. Outcomes largely depend on the individual’s major, performance, career goals and how employers perceive for-profit schools.

Arguments Against CTU’s Value

High Costs

One of the main arguments against the value of a degree from Colorado Technical University (CTU) is the high costs associated with obtaining that degree. Tuition fees at CTU can be significantly higher compared to other universities and colleges.

This can put a financial burden on students and their families, leading to high student loan debts upon graduation. It is important for prospective students to carefully consider the cost-benefit analysis of attending CTU and weigh it against other options available to them.

According to a report by the College Board, the average published tuition and fees for private four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. for the 2020-2021 academic year was $37,650. In comparison, CTU’s tuition fees can range from $325 to $585 per credit hour, depending on the program.

These higher costs can make it challenging for students to recoup their investment in terms of future career opportunities and earning potential.

Poor Job Placement Rates

Another concern raised by critics is the poor job placement rates among CTU graduates. Job placement rates are a key indicator of the value of a degree program, as they demonstrate the institution’s ability to prepare students for the workforce.

While CTU provides career services and support to its students, some argue that the university’s job placement rates are lower compared to other institutions.

It is important to note that job placement rates can vary based on factors such as the specific program of study, the local job market, and the individual student’s qualifications and efforts. However, prospective students should research and consider the job placement rates of CTU and compare them to other institutions before making a decision.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the overall job placement rate for CTU graduates in 2019 was 65%. This means that 65% of CTU graduates found employment related to their field of study within a certain period after graduation.

While this rate may seem low when compared to other institutions, it is important to consider the individual circumstances of each graduate and the competitive job market they may have encountered.

Negative Employer Perceptions

Some critics argue that there may be negative perceptions among employers regarding degrees from CTU. These perceptions may stem from biases or stereotypes about online or for-profit institutions. However, it is important to note that not all employers hold these negative perceptions and that the value of a degree ultimately depends on the individual and their qualifications.

According to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a majority of employers consider the reputation of the institution when evaluating job candidates. However, the survey also found that employers prioritize skills, experience, and relevant certifications over the reputation of the institution.

This suggests that while the reputation of CTU may play a role in the hiring process, it is not the sole determining factor.

It is essential for CTU graduates to demonstrate their skills, knowledge, and abilities to potential employers through internships, work experience, and relevant certifications. By showcasing their qualifications, graduates can overcome any negative perceptions and prove their value in the job market.

Arguments Defending CTU’s Reputation

When it comes to evaluating the worth of a degree from Colorado Technical University (CTU), it is important to consider several factors that defend the institution’s reputation. While there may be some criticisms surrounding for-profit universities in general, CTU has a number of compelling arguments that support its credibility and value in the education landscape.

Regional Accreditation

One of the key factors that defend CTU’s reputation is its regional accreditation. CTU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

This accreditation assures students that CTU meets certain academic standards and provides an education that is widely recognized and respected.

Regional accreditation is important because it distinguishes CTU from other institutions that may lack this level of accreditation. It ensures that the degree earned from CTU holds value and is recognized by employers and other academic institutions.

Flexible and Specialized Programs

CTU offers a range of flexible and specialized programs that cater to the needs of a diverse student population. The university understands that not all students have the same circumstances or goals, and it has developed programs that allow for flexibility in terms of scheduling and delivery methods.

For example, CTU offers online programs that allow students to study at their own pace and from any location. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for working professionals or those with family commitments who may find it difficult to attend classes on a traditional campus.

In addition to flexibility, CTU also offers specialized programs in fields such as information technology, business, healthcare, and criminal justice. These programs are designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen industries.

Good Student Outcomes in Some Fields

While it is important to acknowledge that student outcomes can vary depending on the field of study, CTU has had positive outcomes for students in certain areas. For example, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education, CTU’s nursing program has a high rate of student success and job placement.

This indicates that the education and training provided by CTU in this field are effective and valuable.

It is worth noting that student outcomes can be influenced by various factors, including the individual student’s effort and dedication. However, the fact that CTU has achieved positive outcomes in some fields demonstrates the institution’s commitment to providing a quality education.

Maximizing Value of a CTU Degree

When considering the value of a degree from Colorado Technical University (CTU), it is important to note that the worth of any degree ultimately depends on how it is utilized by the individual. By following these strategies, students can maximize the value of their CTU degree:

Choosing Marketable Majors

One way to ensure the value of a CTU degree is to choose a major that is in high demand in the job market. Researching industry trends and job growth projections can help students identify majors that have a strong potential for career advancement.

For instance, fields like computer science, cybersecurity, and healthcare administration are currently experiencing significant growth and offer numerous job opportunities. By selecting a marketable major, CTU graduates can increase their chances of finding employment and commanding competitive salaries.

Earning Good Grades

Another factor that contributes to the value of a CTU degree is academic performance. Employers often consider a candidate’s GPA when making hiring decisions, as it reflects their ability to learn and apply knowledge effectively.

By striving for good grades, CTU students can demonstrate their dedication and commitment to their chosen field. Additionally, high academic achievement can open doors to scholarships, internships, and other valuable opportunities that further enhance the value of a CTU degree.

Making Industry Connections

Building a strong professional network is essential for maximizing the value of a CTU degree. Students can actively engage with industry professionals by attending networking events, joining industry-specific organizations, and participating in internships or cooperative education programs.

By establishing connections with professionals in their desired field, CTU graduates can gain valuable insights, mentorship, and potential job opportunities. Networking can significantly enhance the career prospects and overall value of a CTU degree.

According to a study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 70% of jobs are found through networking. Therefore, making industry connections is not only beneficial, but it is also crucial for future career success.

Alternatives to Colorado Technical University

While some individuals may question the value of a degree from Colorado Technical University, it is important to remember that there are many alternative options available for those seeking higher education.

These alternatives can provide a quality education, valuable skills, and increased job prospects. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

Public In-State Schools

One alternative to Colorado Technical University is attending a public in-state school. These institutions often offer a wide range of degree programs at a more affordable cost. Public schools also tend to have larger student populations, which can provide a more diverse and enriching educational experience.

In addition, many public schools have established relationships with local businesses and industries, providing students with valuable networking opportunities and potential job placements upon graduation.

Accredited Online Colleges

Another alternative to consider is enrolling in an accredited online college. Online education has become increasingly popular in recent years, offering flexibility and convenience for students with busy schedules or other commitments.

Many reputable universities now offer online programs that are just as rigorous and respected as their on-campus counterparts. These online programs often provide interactive learning experiences, access to qualified instructors, and opportunities for networking with fellow students.

It is important to ensure that any online college you consider is accredited by a recognized accrediting body.

Job Training Programs

For individuals who are more interested in gaining specific job skills rather than obtaining a traditional degree, job training programs may be an excellent alternative. These programs are often offered by vocational schools, community colleges, and trade organizations.

They provide hands-on training in a specific trade or profession, such as healthcare, automotive repair, or computer programming. Job training programs are typically shorter in duration and focus on practical skills that are directly applicable to the workforce.

Many employers highly value these types of programs, as they demonstrate a candidate’s commitment to their chosen field and their ability to hit the ground running in a job.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not a degree from Colorado Technical University is worth pursuing is a personal one. It is important to carefully consider your individual goals, financial situation, and desired career path when evaluating your options.

Remember to research and compare different institutions, speak with current students and alumni, and seek guidance from academic advisors to make an informed decision. Education is an investment in your future, and it’s important to choose a path that aligns with your aspirations and offers the best opportunities for success.


The debate over the merits of a Colorado Technical University degree continues, but outcomes depend largely on students’ goals and performance. By researching earnings potential for intended careers, connecting with alumni, and leveraging CTU’s career resources, graduates can overcome negative assumptions. While a CTU degree has risks, it does not have to be ‘worthless’ with proper planning and effort.

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