Is college worth it?
As many of us progress towards our professional lives, we are faced with a multitude of decisions. What should I do? Should I just get a job and start working? Should I go to a trade school? Should I travel? Should I go to college? Is college worth it?
All of these questions are equally as important, but I’m specifically going to focus on “Is college worth it?” because I feel as though it is one of the most applicable questions in the daily life of many young adults. Whether we’re about to face the question, are facing the question currently, or have already faced the question, it’s something all of us can relate to!
Today, the price of college is through the roof! Thousands upon thousands of dollars are required to obtain any sort of degree, and sometimes what you want to do requires even higher education! People are going deep into debt just to earn a piece of paper that states that they completed a specific number of classes at some university. So why would they go? Let’s look at some pros and cons!
Benefits to attending a university:
Formal education may not be necessary to be successful, but the invaluable networking skills you learn are unmatched. To me, I feel as though classes have been much less useful than the experiences I’ve had and social skills I’ve learned. While on a college campus, you’re surrounded with tens of thousands of other motivated individuals, who all want to meet you if you’re interesting enough! But you better be interesting. Unfortunately, if you’re just average, there’s nothing about you that people are going to care about. But the solution is simple… DON’T BE AVERAGE! And if you’re wondering how NOT to be average, well… you’ve already taken a step towards greatness by being on this website. You might as well take one more and subscribe if you haven’t! 🙂
Discipline (Showing Commitment)
Obtaining a degree requires a high level of commitment. No one goes through a long four year education process on accident. By completing a four year degree, you show discipline to future employers that may be interested in hiring you! That’s why many job descriptions state that they require you to have a “bachelor’s degree” rather than have a “bachelor’s degree in ______.” Just the act of completing your four years in college shows commitment!
New Ways of Thinking
Talk to nearly any college graduate and they will tell you that they do not by any means think in the same way they did before they attended their university. College opens you up to new perspectives, makes you a more open minded individual, and ultimately allows you to think in different ways than the average person! But, you need to actually talk to people and make your time worth it. This benefit to college primarily applies to socially extroverted students.
The ultimate key to success may not be formal education, but it sure as hell involves possessing the mindset that your knowledge level is inferior to those who have more experience than you. NEVER will any of us be complete experts in a subject. And if you think you are, you’re wrong! Don’t take that the wrong way though. Just because you don’t know everything about a subject doesn’t mean you’re not highly knowledgeable in your field. But think about this: even the greatest athletes in the world have coaches. Why? Because they recognize they can always improve. They are NOT arrogant by any means. Humility and recognition that learning is a continuous process is crucial.
Negative outcomes of attending a university:
Obviously since I’m running a financial blog I’m going to tell you debt is bad. Student debt is something that is a serious problem, and I don’t think that each and every person in the upcoming generations is to blame. I think that there is a combination of fault. School systems, the government, parents, and many other sources all contribute to the lack of financial education today! I think that this is one of the biggest negative outcomes of attending a university. But also a quick thank you to my high school finance teacher for being great at what she did, caring about me, and actually teaching me useful information for the real world!
You May Not Get Paid Enough
Depending on your degree, you may be paid much less upon graduation. Some degrees are worth more in the long run than others. There are degrees out there that will cost you the same amount of money as every other degree but may earn you much less. As a general rule, one could expect a petroleum engineer to make a little bit more than a liberal arts major, but it all depends on the circumstance.
Just because you graduated college, does not mean that you’re entitled to have a job. You may end up graduating and realizing that your career field is highly competitive, and finding a job may be difficult.