Okay. Here's how it works. You *can* deduct work expenses, by itemizing your expenses, but there's a catch. Many things (uniforms that are not supplied by your employer and are not wearable in other settings, tools, journal subscriptions, professional organization membership fees, etc.) can be deducted, but they have to exceed your standard deduction. For example, if you made 53K last year, your standard deduction is somewhere in the range of 9K. If your expenses total more than 9000 dollars, you can deduct them by itemizing. If your expenses are, say, 2500 total, your standard deduction exceeds your itemizing benefit, and you can't itemize. You can do one or the other- whichever one benefits you most. You have to figure out what your standard deduction is from the tax table and then compare it to all of your added up expenses.
As far as education is concerned, yes, you can deduct college expenses if you are a freshman or sophomore (for the first two years of college after high school, regardless of your age). This is the Hope Credit. You get a maximum of 1500 dollars from this, I believe (the first 1000 and then up to 500 of the second thousand, if I'm not mistaken). If your school cost less than 1500, say, a community college, you will get less. The second is the Lifetime Learning credit, which is a bit less money, but you can use it after your first two years of college (if you're no longer a fresh. or soph.). The third is a tuition deduction, which I think only applies to those who have a very large income and don't qualify for the first two.
I added up my expenses this year, and they didn't exceed my standard deduction, which was thousands more than my stuff added up to, even with uniforms, etc.