16 February 2017
Is It Necessary To Go To College?
The question of whether or not attending college benefits one’s livelihood plagues many young adults. It becomes something every person must ask themselves at some point in their life. Many people today believe going to college plays a necessary role in preparing you for the next phase of your life. They argue that most jobs require a college degree. Also, college graduates tend to make a significantly higher income than those with only a high school diploma, or even an associate’s degree. For some, college allows you to gain valuable work skills, especially if you choose classes which challenge you and you regularly attend those classes. Others, however, question whether the time and money spent on college actually enhances their chance of obtaining a job.
Many assert the serious debt you may incur by the time you graduate as a major argument against attending college. For most people, it takes them years to pay off their student loans. Since our world and the way we handle different situations continuously changes, our education system cannot keep up and many fear students will not be suitably prepared for the real world by the time they graduate. The degrees they earn will become obsolete. According to some people, college does not supply students with job readiness because going to college does not teach you any real-life skills. These points represent only a few of the arguments made by those opposed to attending college, but do they hold any truth?
I understand the fear of debt plays a large role in making the decision to attend college. After all, according to several studies, student loan debt now equals both mortgage and credit card debt combined. Many students choose to attend college simply because their parents want them to, and while pleasing your parents is admirable, it should not define which course you take. Furthermore, the unrealistic goals colleges place on young adults causes unnecessary stress which may eventually lead to anxiety and even depression. Some parents may have told their children that if they did not receive straight A’s and perform well in school, they might as well forget about becoming successful. This propaganda has the power to debilitate students. For proof, those who deem college futile use millennials as an example. Despite having received the highest education in history, people of that generation cannot seem to accept even the smallest disappointments in life. When they finish college, they expect to easily get a high paying job with perks, benefits, and large bonuses. Unfortunately, that vision simply breeds discontent.
According to those opposed to a college education, one of the biggest lies instilled in people today states that education equals automatic success. Some suggest our university system has sold us an illusion of self-application. They claim students who attend college do not learn leadership, people skills, maturity, or personal application. Instead, they argue that success has almost nothing to do with education and that successful people learn by doing, not just learning to do. Personal development, a learner’s heart, and irrepressible passion cultivate success.
Personally, establishing the argument for attending college just as easily exists. For the most part, people care about making a lot of money. Studies have shown that people with a college degree make a significant more amount of money compared to those with only a high school level education. While student loan debt may cripple one financially, if you end up making more money, you should have enough to pay back those debts. Since many job positions now require you to have a degree, obtaining one becomes vital. Despite all the experience you may have, employers might pass you over for someone who has received a four-year degree. Plus, it may become the solution to achieving the career of your dreams. While acquiring a job without a degree is possible, certain positions, such as becoming a doctor or lawyer, will require the formal training provided by a university. To have a career in one of these fields, you must earn the necessary degree.
The benefits of college, like anything else in life, result from what you make of it. While some universities consider themselves more prestigious than others, you will gain a valuable education if you put forth the effort. When you take classes that cultivate your interests and push you to perform better, you will develop skills that will help you in whatever field you choose. College also exposes you to new and exciting experiences. The exploratory aspect of college provides very important and rewarding opportunities and an excellent introduction to adulthood. By studying abroad and joining clubs, you practice interacting with people of different personalities and beliefs. This will help prepare you for future work situations in which you may need these skills. Overall, college provides you with the chance to start fresh and reinvent yourself or discover your identity.
Both positions have valid arguments. Not expecting college students to take classes unrelated to their degree offers a way to reconcile the two viewpoints. These unnecessary classes, while they may produce a “well-rounded” student, waste valuable time and cause excessive tuition and living expenses. For example, for a Bachelor of Arts degree at Baylor University, the minimum number of credit hours required to graduate adds up to 124; however, only 36 of those hours focus specifically on the English Literature major. This means that 88 hours filled by unnecessary classes constitutes as almost 6 semesters. When the average semester costs a whopping $25,000, it becomes $150,000 the student could invest towards starting a business or career. Not to mention that one could graduate college three years sooner. Putting this plan into effect solves the argument regarding cost made by those opposed to attending college. Although other issues still need resolution, this commences the process of coming to a mutual understanding.