College Education: Arguments For and Against
It also provides you with the time and space to grow up, mature and make decisions about your own life. However, college is not without its disadvantages.
1. Higher Earning Potential
College students earn more money over their lifetimes than those who don’t have post-secondary education. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn about 75% more than those who have only a high school diploma, and those with a master’s degree earn about 84% more than graduates who only have a high school diploma (Torpey, 2018).
However, it is important to remember that the amount of money a person makes depends on their job and their specific skills. In a tight labor market, or during a recession, recent graduates with degrees in the social sciences or humanities often find it challenging to find a job that pays them a living wage and provides a stable career.
While colleges have fought to keep data about how much graduates earn and debt for certain programs from becoming available, it finally did in 2019. This new information is giving families, students and consumer advocates the ability to calculate whether the investment is worth the price and value of a program.
2. Career Opportunities
One of the main reasons students choose to go to college is that they want a better job. Eight in 10 first-year students report that improving their chances of finding a job is an important part of their college experience.
In a time when the number of open jobs is decreasing, employers have started to re-think some of their traditional hiring practices. They are focusing on talent pipelines outside of the college pathway, which has resulted in more job opportunities and higher pay than ever before.
Whether you’re looking to promote employment equity, advance a charitable cause or manage campus activities, a career in higher education has a lot to offer. And while many of these careers require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, there are also a number of positions that do not.
3. Personal and Intellectual Growth
College is a time of discovery, whether that means moving away from home for the first time or living in a new city. This discovery can lead to a whole range of interests and passions that you may have never had a chance to explore before.
In addition, colleges provide the opportunity to hone skills and abilities that will be useful once you graduate. These include things like time management, organization, and the ability to think critically and logically.
It is no surprise then, that about half of college graduates (including those with two-year degrees) say that their education was very useful in helping them grow personally and intellectually. These findings hold true for Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents at all educational levels.
Many people assume that community colleges offer a lower quality of education than four-year colleges. However, this is often not the case.
If you're not sure what you want to major in, attending a community college can be a great way to take a variety of classes that will give you a better idea of what you might like to pursue as a career. Moreover, you'll be able to do so at much lower costs than at a four-year college.
Another big advantage to attending a community college is that the teachers are focused more on teaching than research. This means that they will often have more time to give you one-on-one attention in class.