The Importance Of College Education For A Person's Future

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While we are young, we are told to go to college by our educators, parents and even the media we consume, but sadly we aren’t told why. In today’s world this argument still sparks heated debated around the world. Eight-teen year old’s are tasked with making life changing decisions weather they should attend higher education or not. I believe that attending higher education should be decided on a person to person basis, but in the end the day, the majority of people should go to college because of the job market we live in today, higher opportunities it opens, and overall experience.

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Whether college is ‘worth it’ really depends upon what your goals are. If your dream is to become a doctor or a teacher, you cannot achieve these without university degrees. If your dream is to be a firefighter, then college is probably a waste of time.

Yes, College does not assure a well-paying job, and not going to college does not assure poverty, but we are living in a pre-credential era. This means that it is significantly harder for people without degrees to locate meaningful jobs with good pay. College/university is necessity nowadays. In the near future it won’t be any use of non-qualified workers, robots/machines could do everything by themselves much quicker and more effective. So, the only way not to miss your chance in a career ladder is to become well-qualified specialist.

If your goal is to make as much money as possible while spending as little as possible, then you should know that on average, college graduates earns much more over their lifetimes than non-college graduates.

People nowadays tend to blame the education system for the lack of being able to find a good paying reliable job without a college degree, but on the contrary, College does symbolize a lot of hours listening, interpreting, inferring, learning, developing, surprising oneself, having a mentor, learning to trust your judgment, correcting course when you fail, faith that the work is worth it, and frankly, just learning to show up and do what’s expected of you. So that’s a fair number of hours an employer can assume you know what you’re doing and will not bail out when things get hard. If you created your own business, it would mean you learned the same things about your field and mastered the stresses that go along with that work. It would mean you remained curious, focused, results driven, and even more importantly, didn’t throw it all away on something destructive. So those are what employers look for in people they hire. They look for, in one word, passion and proof of passion.

Higher education gives better opportunities where they would not be there otherwise. In the essay, “Blue-Collar Brilliance” by Mike Rose, Mike tells a story about his uncle and his work experiences. “One of my mother’s brothers, Joe Meraglio, left school in the ninth grade to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad. From there he joined the Navy, returned to the railroad, which was already in decline, and eventually joined his older brother at General Motors where, over a 33-year career, he moved from working on the assembly line to supervising the paint-and-body department. When I was a young man, Joe took me on a tour of the factory. The floor was loud — in some places deafening — and when I turned a corner or opened a door, the smell of chemicals knocked my head back. The work was repetitive and taxing, and the pace was inhumane. The story goes on to tell about how his uncle worked hard and finally over time moved up to management, but what you don’t get told about is the numerous people just like his uncle who didn’t get any sort of promotion and were stuck doing physical labor.

Physical labor jobs are not for the “faint of heart”. Speaking from experience, I previously worked in construction during the summer days and it was one of the hardest things I have done.’ Pieter Coenen, an occupational health researcher at VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and his colleagues analyzed 17 studies that investigated the effects of job-related physical activity. The studies included more than 193,000 men with varying levels of physically demanding jobs. Coenen found that those who were the most physically active on the job had an 18% higher risk of dying early compared to people with less active occupations.

One big argument against higher education is the cost for tuition. Yes, can be a lot of money to owe, but things like FAFSA can help. FAFSA is Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it gives students money for college depending on income and parents’ income. Then students can also take out loans which can be paid back after graduation. This is ideal because in theory it gives students time to look for a job after graduation. “While the average return to obtaining a college degree is clearly positive, we emphasize that it is not universally so. For certain schools, majors, occupations, and individuals, college may not be a smart investment. By telling all young people that they should go to college no matter what, we are actually doing some of them a disservice”. This quote from “Should Everyone Go to College?’ by Owen and Sawhill explains that college isn’t for everyone because some majors would be considered “useless”, but that responsibility lies on the student to choose a major that would be practical in the real world.

College may or may not be necessary be for everyone, but I believe that it should be at least highly considered. As stated before, we live in a pre-credential era where some type of credential must be proven or shown to be successful. 

16 August 2021

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