SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — More and more Americans are getting crushed by student loan debt, which has many wondering if a college degree is worth the price you pay.

A career in healthcare. That’s the dream for high school students who spent the day at Sacramento City College learning from the pros. They’ve got a plan, which includes college.

READ MORE: Sacramento Opens Storm Centers For Homeless This Weekend

Getting a degree can pay off, but you do have to consider the price tag. Americans now owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, and many graduates do not earn enough to dig themselves out of debt so their misery can last for decades.

Jon Ruport makes his living helping people find jobs.

RELATEDSacramento City College Hosts ‘Pathways To Paychecks’

READ MORE: Ironman California: Road Closures In Sacramento On Sunday

“When determining if college is for you or not for you I think it’s important for you to consider your unique situation,” Ruport said. “There definitely are options besides just going straight to university.”

Those options include getting a job right out of high school or attending a trade school, technical school, or junior college.

I can speak from my own experience. I went the J.C. route. It gave me the opportunity to figure out what I wanted to do,” Ruport said. 

Teenagers in Elk Grove are figuring out what they want to do through a district program that lets them try out all sorts of jobs, some of which require a college degree, and some that do not.

MORE NEWS: 'Both Benefit And Hazard': California Braces For Arrival Of Atmospheric River On Sunday

“They’re hands-on, working with employers, practicing things that they might or might not like to do,” said EGUSD Explore Program specialist Jane Ross. “It‘s our job to show them all of the different opportunities that exist out there.”