With spiraling costs of college education, a lot of high school students feel discouraged about continuing into higher education. The idea of beginning to earn money, and supporting oneself right after high school can be very appealing too. In such a situation, students often ask themselves:why stay in college? What does it have on offer that one should not pass up?
First of all, it is all about opportunity. Once you know the kind of career you would like, the right college can add a lot of value, it provides added income opportunities. Lets us look at some simple figures: according to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 90 percent of the fastest-growing jobs of the future will require some sort of postsecondary education or training. It is also claimed that U.S. college graduates are paid twice as much as workers with a high school diploma. These facts in themselves could be sufficient logic for investing in a college education.
To understand how a college education actually helps, we consider the advantages it provides to the students. First of all, there are the resources it puts at the student’s disposal, the library, the computer and internet facilities, gyms, sporting facilities and so on: each an avenue to pursue excellence in some or the other field of interest, or simply push for physical and intellectual growth. Plus, there is the chance to meet people and build up a network of connections that can be useful in one’s later professional life. Lastly, some of the best experts in the field are part of the faculty in many colleges, and a student can gain a lot of insight by working with them on different projects. Colleges that provide internship are an added bonus.
Colleges also provide a set of life-skills that equip the student for future professional life, they are useful in honing peer skills that would later help in good teamwork with colleagues. Community life helps the student becomes a well-rounded person. As a result the students develop into better thinkers, with a wider perspective when they look at an organization later. This makes them better, more mature executives who are able to make productive, insightful decisions.
Some of the most important aspects of a college education is an improvement in written and verbal communication skills, project management skills including scheduling and sticking to deadlines, and the ability to carry out broad interdisciplinary research. All these are useful in the course of a career and cannot be found to that extent in the case of a high school education.
One of the most important factors that recommends college education is the recognition it has from the professional and the industrial world. Job providers use a college degree as a standard on which to evaluate a prospective employee. A basic bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement for most well-paying jobs in the industry, and there is a glass ceiling on those who do not have a college education.
The U.S. is gradually moving away from being a manufacturing economy to a knowledge-based economy, and a bachelor’s degree today has almost the same value as high school education had half a century earlier. In a globalized economy where more and more jobs are being outsourced to Asian nations, the only hope for a good job for a student is to take college education as an obvious option.
Your college education keeps you company well into your career, in terms of skills that you learned which were not seen as immediately useful, but come in handy mid career, when you are eying that promotion or considering changing jobs. It can be your safety net, sturdy enough to fall back on, just in case you come upon hard times in life. Even if you are considering being an entrepreneur, a stint at college would only add to your capabilities and help you realize your ambitions. A college education thus gives you a headstart in life, an edge in the job market and a secure backup plan. Not going to college is simply not an option.