Even though there is tremendous pressure in contemporary society to attend a college or university after graduating from high school, the rising tuition costs raise lingering questions as to whether college is worth the investment. Even though there are substantial financial commitments on top of the ample time and energy it takes to earn a college degree, there are still a considerable number of reasons to go to college.
Expectations, Money and Qualifications
On average, college graduates make more money than people who only have a high school degree. In addition to higher pay, college graduates also experience better job security than individuals who haven’t graduated from college do. Many employers expect applicants to have a college degree, and those who are applying to positions that require a degree and don’t possess one are at a significant disadvantage. Whether you’re enrolled in vocational programs or you’re earning your doctorate, college programs provide students with specialized training that only higher education can offer, giving them sought-after and valuable qualifications.
Organization and Problem-Solving
To handle a heavy college workload, you have to be organized. Juggling several different classes is no easy task, and considering that each class covers a range of complex material, the amount of information you’ll collect over the course of a semester is substantial. If you’re unable to stay organized, there are tutors, advisers and professors there to help you. The organization skills you’ll learn in college will help you succeed in accounting-based jobs, marketing jobs, academic jobs and many others. Whether you’re solving a math-based problem or analyzing a theme in a novel, college classes train your brain to tackle difficult problems and will prepare you for problems in the workplace.
Communication, Connections and Friendships
Regardless of whether you grew up in a small town or in New York City, by enrolling in a college or university, you are entering into an institution that allows you to meet a great number of new people. Your social skills will improve through interaction with your peers in social situations and in academic settings. By meeting other motivated scholars, you’ll expand your networking connections, which could help you when you enter into the job market. When you take part in classroom activities, study groups and academic clubs, you are introduced to like-minded, motivated people with whom you could one day start a company or form a life-long friendship.
Study Abroad and New Interests
Study-abroad programs are offered by most colleges and universities and are seen as one of the most fulfilling and enlightening experiences offered on the undergraduate level. In addition to being immersed in a foreign culture, students are required to complete a rigorous academic workload that not only expands their idea of what the world is like and why, but exposes them to cultural traditions, practices and ideas that are enriching and mind-expanding. In addition to study-abroad programs, a traditional liberal arts education requires students to complete courses in writing, mathematics, speech and information technology to ensure students are as well-rounded as possible. General education requirements awaken students to new interests and possible job markets, too.
Jake Shore is an award-winning Brooklyn-based playwright, published short story writer and professor at Wagner College. His short fiction has appeared in many publications including Litro Magazine, one of London's leading literary magazines. Shore earned his MFA in creative writing from Goddard College.