Professor Afrin Zeenat
7 July 2018College: Worth the cost or the worst?
“Going to college is the best decision I ever made” said my cousin who graduated from MIT with a biochemistry degree and I thought college is where success is. Then I looked at Steve Jobs who is a college dropout but used his talent and succeed be a billionaire. I’m looking at two successful people who achieved success in two different ways. At this point I was confused whether I should go to college or use my talents? So, I started to research other people who drop out of college but are still successful and I realized that Steve Jobs is one in a million. It is only a few people who make it in life without going to college. Earning a college degree is more advantageous than its drawback. It is the most common pathway to an advanced career and a secure life. It gives one a better career opportunities and grant individuals an economic freedom. College helps mold one into a more professional individual. On the other hand, college can be expensive, and it leave students with thousands of money in debt. At first glance one might say college is worth going to, but in reality, it may or may not be worth.
College is a crucial place for those who are willing to put in effort and hard work. If people aspire to have a prosperous future, a college degree is mandatory. Having a college degree and the skill set that comes with it often leads to the ability to pick and choose a career path. This flexibility means that college degree holders have the potential to choose a company and a career path they want to be in and not have to settle for less. Majority individuals make a commitment plus investment of time and money to go to college for this reason. Moreover, it gives an individual an emotional satisfaction, confidence and a strong faith in themselves. Not only does college permit individuals with career options, it is also the perfect place to build social skills. Many friendship and relationships started from there and blossomed afterwards. The other exciting aspect of college is the diverse environment where one can learn how to embrace diversity and acknowledge differences. It also gives students the chance to learn about other cultures. In addition to social skills, college can aid students develop essential skills like self-discipline, organization, multitasking and the ability to operate on a task from beginning to end. This may not sound relevant, but college weighs down a lot of responsibility on students most usually if they just graduated from high school. It gives them a preview of the real world and hustle. The transition can be a lot to take but leaves one with experiences.
The broad topic of earning a college degree raises a huge question in the minds of those who desire to achieve some type of success. Keeping in mind that people have their own definition for success, and some may not consider earning a college degree as a success. After all the goal of going to college is to advance in a career, get certifications and apply it on workplaces to get some form of reward. The reward can be an emotional satisfaction but truly in most case it is money. Even though there are 2% who perform for the pure pleasure of doing it. In other words, it grants financial independence and there is no other greater feeling than that. Compared to a person who didn’t go to college, “those with a college degree are more likely to be in high-paying managerial and professional jobs” (Fertig). Many employers are looking for potential employees with some type of college degree and are willing to pay them more than regular people with no college degree. High paying jobs ensures an individual economic independence and boost their confidence. On the contrary, this might not be true for some people with a college degree but have a low job market. Jobs with highest paying rates and high markets are usually medical and engineering fields. It doesn’t mean other professions are less important or unsolicited. The job market fluctuates, and one must be smart when deciding what career, they want to pursue.
Even though college is key to success, it is expensive. On average a college student spends about 33,000$ on public universities and about 7,328$ on community college. The cost for tuition, books, dorm and other personal expenses can be overwhelming and might require students to work extra hours to stay on top of the payments. This is also one of the many reasons why students drop out of college. Despite all the efforts students make to pay their tuition, they are still left with thousands of dollars in debt. This does not only affect students but their families as well. The dramatic increase in the price of higher education intimidate today’s students to borrow money than ever. With large amounts of students flooded with loan debt, upon graduation individuals are being forced to take jobs outside of their field of study simply because they need income to make their loan payments. Taking out a loan for college, as simple as it sounds many students don’t see the consequences. Instead they compare themselves to other individuals and think it is okay to do so. After graduation students might look at the debt that built up for years and regret the time, money and effort they spent for years. It is not a good feeling, but it is no lie that some people experience it.
If college is considered as a bridge to success, then why does it fail to explain thousands of people with college degrees that are either unemployed or working outside their profession with a minimum wage? That’s because it is not the only triumph. Living in a technologically advanced community, one can use his and her intellectual abilities, special talents and creative vision to survive. Although to some college is “maturing to a place were hard work, valuable skills and knowledge are rewarded” (Weinger), others beg to differ. For instance, Social media platforms such as YouTube, and Instagram has made it easy for people to make money. A lot of individuals are benefitting from these platforms and they can support themselves financially. There are numerous jobs and career opportunities out there that does not require a college degree. It only inquires a person to develop on-the-job skills, instead of absorbing academic knowledge that he or she will never use. Nevertheless, the community does not give equivalent place for people in different platforms. For example, a doctor and a youtuber are people making money in different ways. The doctor is selling his long-earned knowledge while the youtuber presents his and hers talents and creative ideas. The society needs to be less critical and more appreciative so that children can keep an open mind about what they want to do. Most youngsters go to college not because they want to, but they must. They want to feel accepted and do right by their families, friends and the society. What they fail to see is that there are many other ways to climb up to success. Regardless the society is to blame for creating these feelings within young individuals.
College can help people realize a quality life and bright future. It helps students undergo a great opportunity to explore a wide variety of possible paths. It does not guarantee a secure job and future but, in the process, it helps individuals acquire a lot of knowledge and wisdom. It mainly helps with career options and economical independency. There are number of reasons why a person should consider going to college, but Despite the economic and social advantage it can have a huge financial burden on students and their families. Most parents end up helping their children pay off student debt. Nonetheless of all the information and facts presented in front of the community, it is up to individuals to think thoroughly and make wise decision about going to college. The discussion on college never ends but most definitely the advantages outweigh the disadvantage.
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Fertig, Jason. “Success without College.” Academic Questions, vol. 24, no. 3, 01 Sept. 2011, pp.291-299.EBSCOhost, dcccd.idm.oclc.org/login? url= search.ebscohost.com.dcccd .idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ951377&site=ehost-live. Accessed 27 July 2018.
Mellow Gail, and DeRionne Pollard. “Community Colleges Can Heal a Divided America.” The Baltimore Sun, 20 Feb. 2018, www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-community-college-20170220-story.html. Accessed 10 July 2018.
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