Importance Of College Education

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Alexa Ray, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. I have come back to ask for more opinions, advice, and tips, and explanations! This time it's about the importance of college education! What would be awesome is if some people who are in or have been to college come around here and give me some examples of why college education is so important in this day and age!
  2. Well, as someone who hasn't gone to post-secondary, I can most assuredly inform thee that for any career in any field requiring advanced mental skills (doctors, accountants, teachers, etc) not only is post-secondary useful, it is explicitly required.

    Even trades schools are generally required for you to become a certified electrician or plumber (fields I'm looking at making careers out of.) HOWEVER! Ask yourself. Are you absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt certain that the degree you want is both useful in the working world (ex: not philosophy), and something you want to dedicate the entirety of your adult life towards?

    If so, ensure you have the funds (or can pay back subsequent student loans) and pursue your life. If not, take a year off and get a job, work, and figure out what you want to do with your life. Nothing worse than spending 60,000+ dollars and 4+ years of your life for a piece of paper you aren't even sure you want.
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  3. More and more, jobs above minimum wage (ie; jobs that you can buy a house and retire with) require some kind of certification. Sometimes in trades the company provides the education (my bf went to school for 7 weeks for the railroad job; he paid for the course after he was approved to even take it) but still, having college level maths and science were assets.

    Even if you don't NEED a degree or certificate or post-secondary credits to be eligible, not having them can and often does mean you're an inferior candidate compared to those who do. Especially in markets that are way over saturated like creative writing, journalism, and computer sciences

    Invest in your education; you can't make an entire adult life on minimum wage, and it never hurts to get a leg up on competition. Not only so you can GET a job, but so that you're a valuable asset they'll be hesitant to cut.

    Plus just General life skills, man. Take Accounting and Management for example. Budgeting is so much easier, and you learn ways to deal with people and develop better leadership, business, and interpersonal skills as well as the extra points on your resume

    I would point out to @Brovo that 'the rest of your adult life' is an intimidating description considering many degrees are under five years study, you still get school breaks and can have a social life and even a part-time job, and you can have minors and related skills, so it's not like the subject of your degree was all you learned (ie; in my journalism program I will also learn history, photography, media design, economics, and much more). Other than that (and I'm only questioning the term; I agree with the subtext that you shouldn't waste years on a non useful choice, or do it on a whim), everything @Brovo said.
    #3 Minibit, Oct 18, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
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  4. @Minibit Ja. Just more trying to hammer home the message that post secondary is neither cheap or fast. The other element to most jobs is experience too, you will be competing against folks in the industry who have 5-10 years more work experience on you. Ergo, the more time spent in university, the less time spent gaining relevant work experience (unless you are in trades), which means less total time spent generating maximum effective currency.

    Ultimately though, we are definitely agreed on it being important, and in many careers, straight up required.
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  5. I'm the guy who just spent four years of his life goofing off, making friends, drinking questionably large quantities of alcohol and somehow getting a degree in the process working hard to achieve my undergraduate, and I'm now back doing a Masters course (wherein which I will goof off, make friends and drink questionably large quantities of alcohol totally work hard and stuff), so I may be a tad biased.

    But higher education fucking rocks.
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  6. @Brovo oh yes absolutely. Sometimes programs offer work experience too, which is always awesome, but it's not going to be as much as if you were JUST working. But we've already covered odds of getting a career job without experience or qualifications and yeah, higher education comes out on top
  7. I have completed all my studies including my degree in medical science. Now working in a hospital. Everyone has covered all the reasons why it's beneficial. I wouldn't have got my job if I didn't have my qualifications. You need to think career and knowledge wise. Most jobs require experience and qualifications. Education is not only for a good job. It's to widen your knowledge :) if you are not enjoying a subject, it means it's not for you. Love what you study x
  8. I spent three years getting an undergraduate degree, and then a further year getting a Masters. I can now slap the letters "BA, MSc" after my name whenever I want to.

    Was it worth it?

    I'm not convinced that it was. Now, admittedly, part of the problem here is that my undergraduate degree was a combined honours in Criminology and Law. It's not enough of a law degree to allow me to train as a lawyer (I would need to do either a conversion or a top-up course for that) but that's fine, because I never wanted to be a lawyer in the first place. I wanted to join the police as a criminologist and work in back offices, crunching numbers and identifying trends and all that stuff. When the global recession struck, the UK cut down on all of those jobs, declaring them to be largely unnecessary, meaning that all I could do with my degree was either join the police force as an officer, or become a prison warden. That was it. Anything else where a Criminology degree might be useful (i.e. social care) was full of people with social work/sociology degrees, and they were more attractive candidates because their knowledge was more relevant.

    My Masters was in Risk Management. It was meant to be a hands-on, practical degree covering areas of health and safety, environment management, financial risk and law/crime, so that I could move into a more general business stream by doing a wider degree than my narrow BA.

    I don't work in any sphere related to my degrees. As of yet, I have never done anything at work that even touches on anything I learned during my higher education. The job I have now, I got by working hard in my previous job and building up three years of experience in the field. I got that job by being one of the few people willing to take a job that pays minimum wage, despite being a lot better educated. Things are going well now, as my current job actually pays the kind of money that someone with a Masters should be earning, but I got here by having work experience, not a degree. Sure, when I go for an interview, employers are always impressed/intrigued by my education and there are some jobs where just having a university degree gets you through the door, whether it's actually relevant or not, but I reckon I could have gotten to this point without either degree.

    I get told that my degrees will help me later in life, as if people reach forty and find that the only way to move up to a manager's job is to have a degree. I'm not holding my breath on that one. Why? I work in procurement, so I'll need to switch to risk management or something criminological for either of my degrees to be relevant (I'm hardly going to get promoted to Procurement Manager on the back of a BA in Criminology) and, even if it was a job where one of my degrees was relevant, it's going to be about twenty years out of date. What good is a Risk Management degree that's twenty years old? It's not. Which is why I'm looking to start doing some procurement certificates next year, so that I'll have qualifications that are relevant to my job. When I hit forty, I don't expect anyone will care what my Masters was if I've got twenty years of purchasing experience and a high-level procurement certificate.

    It's not so dissimilar to my dad's story, either. He studied German at university and wound up getting a job as a freight forwarder for a pharmaceutical company that bought a lot of its products from Germany. He then moved into the finance side of things because he had a good head for numbers, and worked his way up to being their Administrative Director, still in charge of finance, but unable to call himself a Finance Director because he didn't have any degrees relevant to finance. He then began doing some studying and is now self-employed as an accountant. I've got a friend that studied English Literature at university and now works as a website manager for a shipping company. Does he have any formal web/IT training? Nope.

    To me, based on my experiences and the experiences of those around me, the degree isn't all that important when you're young. Employers are more interested in work experience and job history, with someone that has four years in the same job being a more attractive prospect than someone that has a degree and has worked four jobs in three years. I'm fully resigned to the fact that, later in life, I will need to do some kind of a degree or certificate if I am to get the top level management jobs, and by the time I get there, my undergraduate and masters won't mean diddly squat. At a younger age, it's more important to have a degree in something (it doesn't so much matter what) because there are a lot of people with degrees and if you don't have one then you're fighting an uphill battle from the start. Later in life, you need to have a degree in something relevant, and as no-one really knows where they'll end up, you can't really plan for it so you have you start studying again, after you've settled into a career.

    Obvious exceptions here include doctors, pharmacists, professors and the like, all of whom use their degrees straight from the off if they get a job in the field that they studied. To everyone else, just pick a degree that sounds interesting (and doesn't narrow your options too much) and then go to university for the life skills you'll gain outside of the classroom. I'm not convinced that my degrees were worth it, but university was the first time I lived away from home, and I learned to cook and do laundry, but also how to manage my own time and how to deal with people. You've got a few safety nets as a student, so you aren't completely on your own, but you've got freedom and time to try things out and learn about yourself. I would always encourage going to university, but I don't think it really matters what your degree is in, unless you've got very defined career plans already. Otherwise, just grab a casual degree in business or IT, and then hit the bars for a good time.
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  9. <--doctor

    college was required
  10. I guess it really depends on your own plans. I went with a Computer degree. Technically a Computer Information Systems degree. I've taken programming classes, networking classes, project management classes, and database classes (both creating and managing). There's lots for me that I can do but that's because I prefer computers to people (you internet people are okay though!). Depending on what you want to do will guide you to the type of education you need. I've actually been told by professors and my adviser to choose something that I want to do for the next few years, not for the rest of my life. So it depends. But I totally would've gone to college again....but I would've gone in as a CIS major....not English or even given a thought to Education. If I want to, I might go back for a masters/doctorate just so I can say that I'm ANOTHER Dr in my family (older brother and his wife are both Dr's.) But I ramble, long story short: it's up to what you wanna do with your life there's a lot out there to choose from, get out there and enjoy life.
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  11. Here's my two cents. As always, I'm going to come at this with a little different perspective than most in the Western part of the world.

    You need to discover your dharma. Your dharma is the reason you're put on this earth, your God given gift. This could be becoming a doctor, orit may be working at a soup kitchen. However, I do understand that you need money to survive, there's no doubt about that. It all depends. .. do you need to have a nice house one day, or are you content renting? Etc..

    Let's get to the college question. In my personal experience I did not finish even the basic courses they make you take right after high school. I was like two classes short. However, it has never stopped me. Over the years I have been a successful makeup artist, yoga instructor, bartender, office manager, sales manager, marketing associate, and a few others. As you can see I've had a lot of jobs. Never been fired. I just didn't know what I wanted, and in my particular case I'm glad I didn't get a degree on the first thing I showed interest in.

    After years of discovering who I and my dharma, I now know what I'm meant to do I this life. I'm studying to become an Ayurvedic Practitioner, which is basically a holistic doctor. I'm now going to school for this. I must say, it's harder going back after years of not going to school.

    I believe every individual is unique. Thus, every path will be unique. You need to find out what b you want in life and make your decision based on that. There is no right or wrong answer. There are people that choose to live humbly and devote their lives to serving others. Of course that's typically not a western way of life, but there are those that do it.

    If you chose not to go to college just know that it will be hard for you to to "succeed" in western standards. I'd suggest for you to consider getting your basic courses done and get an AA. You can put that on a resume., and it looks better than "uncompleted. "
    #11 Hope, Oct 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2014
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  12. I think it is pretty obvious in this thread that getting a degree can be pretty important in this day and age. Many non-minimum wage jobs require them, and it is hard to be considered for work without the degree unless you have experience or other very marketable skills.

    HOWEVER!! I want to touch on @Brovo statement above... He makes picking a major and planning the rest of your life when you are 18 sound crazy scary. Don't stress. College is also a time to find out more about yourself and what you want to do.

    I started college going to a private tech school for a degree in Computer Science. I had loved the program in high school and thought it would be a great major for me. 3 years and transferring to a public university in my home state later, I found that I didn't want to do computer science and computer programming for the rest of my life. School had been stressing me out for months and I wasn't happy. During this time I had been working in the School of Management at the computer labs there, and had learned a lot more about the majors they offered. Soon I was switching my degree to Global Business (i.e. International Business). This degree allowed me to travel to Korea for study abroad, continue to study German, and learn more about people and businesses, as well as accounting and finance (which are good for everyone). Just as a side note, I hated school. It took me 5.5 years to complete my degree.

    I graduated and began looking for a job. I hoped to work in a technology company since I had the background in computer science, but 8 months later and still nothing. With my student loan payments only 6 months away, I was pressed for work. I began substitute teaching in the local school district where my mom and sister were both working. I came to really enjoy it, plus the bonus of not having to make any plans since the regular teacher did all that. When I had been studying in Korea I had met many foreigners from across the globe who were in the country teaching English. After 6 months of substitute teaching, I gathered the proper documents and applied to teach here. I have been in Korea ever since, and I love it. I have come to love teaching so much, I am considering returning to the United States to get a teaching certificate.

    As a child, and teenager, I would have NEVER expected to find myself here, and teaching, but I am glad that this is where life has lead me. I don't know where things will go from here. Maybe I will stay here, maybe I will go home and become a teacher there, or maybe I will go off on an adventure to another place to teach or find work. But I do know that I didn't know what I wanted when I was 18 either.

    TL;DR - Started in Computer Science, switched to Global Business, couldn't find a job, substitute teaching, moved to Korea to be an English teacher, considering moving back to the US to get teaching certification. Happy, and didn't expect to be where I am.
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  13. @Sukisho More important than scary, though for a lot of people, it rightfully is. Sinking tens of thousands and years of your life into something always is, if you're even somewhat rational and sane.

    Scary is fine though. Every mountain looks daunting until you make a plan, get the proper equipment, and climb it. The view at the top is always worth the climb, though, and you learn more about yourself on the climb than you would have merely contemplating it. And this is the message I tried to hammer home: It's no light decision to take post-secondary. It's required for a lot of careers, it's immensely useful in a multitude of ways that I don't feel like reiterating when others (namely @Disgruntled Goat and @Minibit ) nailed it perfectly... But I'm not going to lie and say comforting things. Life itself is scary, and full of unpredictable surprises. It will throw curve balls at your face the likes of which you couldn't have possible imagined.

    And that's why life is interesting. Because if life could be predicted and fine tuned to perfection, there would be no challenge in it.

    Post-secondary is just part of the modern life. It's there when you're ready for it, all I'm suggesting is just ensuring that the thing you choose to invest years and tens of thousands of dollars in, is something that will both be fruitful for you in the work world, and is something you really want to do, that excites you, that moves you, that speaks to your proverbial soul.
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  14. Shit, I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing with my life. I chose to do an Undergraduate in History because I was initially planning to transfer into Film and Media after, but discovered that in actual fact History is the shit. I chose to do an MSc in History because I did pretty well in my undergraduate and academia is just plain great fun.

    You've got your whole life to figure out who you are and where you're going. The pursuit of knowledge for knowledge's sake alone is nothing to be sneered at. Hell, it should be encouraged. The number of people I met at Uni doing courses "because they have great job prospects" and who would up burning out because they had no passion for the subject is way too high.

    Meanwhile, everyone I know who chose their course based on love of the subject pretty much all graduated and are off doing cool shit these days.
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  15. I do agree that higher education is necessary if you want to make more than minimum wage. I will also say that unless you're going into computer science or the medical field, an Associate's degree won't be enough for you to live on. I've got my A.A. in Culinary Arts and I barely made more than minimum wage before switching over to English.

    That being said I do think college is necessary for a person to grow. A handful of my professors, including my English and History professor believe that if you don't graduate college as a changed person you should do the entire experience again. College is supposed to challenge your perspective of the world, and at the very least make you more aware of it. I can definitely tell you that I care more about social and political issues now than when I first started going to school. I am also much more curious about everything.

    Coming from a family that barely knows how to speak English or even grasp a sense of the world, education is a big deal to me. It's not just a way to make money, but it's a crucial tool to understand what is going in your life.
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  16. I'd have to disagree with most posts people are making.

    I agree though with @Disgruntled Goat . Most of the success I've had with well paying jobs had absolutely nothing to do with college. It had to do with my work experience and my drive. I know lots of.. I'm sorry to say it, but morons that are college graduates, and I was promoted over them. You don't absolutely need a college degree to succeed and make over min wage. However you must have drive to succeed. Whether you have a degree or not. Of course... This all has to do with your definition of "succeeding" also.

    And like @Disgruntled Goat was saying, I was willing to take those min wage jobs and work up to a very good job, because I knew I could. At my last job I went from the bottom of the chain, to manager in 2 months, then was offered a corporate buyer position in one year for a company of over 100 stores across the US. They flew me across the midwest training other managers, thier staff, and re merchandising the stores. Again, I have no degrees. I turned down the corporate job because the money means nothing to me. I want to help people. I don't want to contribute to consumerism any longer. The key is whatever makes you happy.
    #16 Hope, Oct 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2014
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  17. [​IMG]

    This 100% accurate. I haven't gone to college, but one of my brothers has and the other hasn't. College is only neccessary for top notch jobs like a Doctor or Lawyer get where i'm going with it. There are jobs out there that don't require college degrees that you WILL start with a low salary in, but working your way up the chain will bring your salary up a whole lot.

    ALTHOUGH, a college degree will show that you are indeed full of knowledge in that certain area. It will also separate you from the crowd that don't have degrees, but you still can't guarantee you'll get the job. Hell they might end up giving it to the one without the degree.

    Either way, college degrees require hard work to be done. I applaud those that have them because lots of studying is required for them and it's not the easiest thing at all (judging through the work my brother went through).

    Also, don't let the posts influence you really. These are just experiences. Do what you wanna do. It's your life and decision. I myself will be going to college in spring for a degree on Criminal Justice. So I will experience it myself.
    #17 GhostJoker, Oct 18, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
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  18. I don't really know how these posts would influence me either way (I already have a career plan) and I was simply asking for ideas on why college education was important (not experiences), as well as examples on why it is important. Minibit gave a perfect explanation in my opinion.
  19. Woah woah woah... wait....

    Run that past me again.

    I went to college and university, and know virtually nothing about real life. It teaches you how to organize your thoughts. Beyond that, there's not much difference between me and an intelligent person.
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