Is a College Degree That Important? Benefits of Higher Education
Society has always discussed the importance of higher education. This matter has become even more significant due to development of scientific research and digital technologies. The modern world requires experienced and well-educated experts with an intellectual skill set.
Higher education defines our future, a way of thinking and even mentality. In the modern employment market, a successful person should stand above the crowd and be competitive. Skills and qualifications matter.
What are the benefits of higher education? Does it transform your life and destiny?
Is Your Background Important?
Some people think if you are gifted and good at something it is not obligatory to enter a University. For example, Bill Gates was able to become famous and successful without a college degree. However, before leaving Harvard, Bill had already founded Microsoft and had plenty of programming experience. Moreover, he graduated from a privileged private school and was asked to make a computerized schedule for school curriculum. Finally, Gates returned to his alma mater in 2007 to get an honorary degree and began his solemn speech with the words that he came back to get his degree.
Steve Jobs also dropped out of college to begin another class, calligraphy. Some years later, he used his knowledge to design the first Mac with multiple typefaces and fonts. Jobs never told that the previous years were useless. Usually, it takes time to decide what is really important and which profession to choose. Some students drop out of college because they understand it is not their way and try to find classes they are interested in. The main thing is never stopping to learn as education opens up a world and endless possibilities for a career and world-changing ideas.
Many entrepreneurs believe that it’s better to make money instead of spending money on academic background and argue that Zuckerberg, Jobs, and Gates left colleges. According to Larry Smith from the University of Waterloo, it’s just a case of survivor bias. We take into account the stories of geniuses who succeeded, ignoring numerous stories about those who failed.
A university environment enables students to think critically and broaden horizons. As Condoleezza Rice once said, Stanford University entirely transformed her mind and destiny.
It should be noted, that Bill Gates Foundation requires a candidate to have at least a Bachelor’s degree and even an MBA. Although some people believe higher education is a waste of time, millions of students all over the world see its significance and perspectives.
Unemployment among college dropouts
Despite seductive stories about computer giants and their business success, the majority of dropouts face unemployment and poverty. As may be seen from the stories above, their skills had already been developed before college. These people know how to educate themselves and arrange a business process from A to Z.
According to statistics in the USA, people without a diploma earn 30 percent less than university graduates. Moreover, a risk of unemployment increases up to 70 percent. Some studies found high rates of crime among dropouts. Across the US, about 70 percent of prisoners don’t have a higher education.
As the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows, in January 2017 the unemployment rate among college graduates is 2.5 percent, whereas the rate increases up to 11 percent among graduates and 15 percent among young people without high school diploma.
Most children, especially those from poor districts, need a college degree to improve their standards of living. A UCLA research found that problem children benefit most from a higher education. For them, a diploma is a necessary step towards a better future and confidence.
The analysis of American Community Survey shows that for most majors degree graduates earn more than high school students. The data confirm that earnings are higher throughout their career. Median lifetime salaries are two times higher among college graduates although they differ across professions. A college degree is not always a guarantee of high income and good position in a company, but it lowers the risk of unemployment and helps with a career in case of the recession.
Labor Market Development
The modern employment market requires high-class specialists. According to the article by Enrico Moretti, jobs in the software companies have grown over 500 percent, and the number of jobs on the Internet has increased over 600 percent.
The challenging 21st century requires creative thinking, information and technology literacy as well as initiative and productivity. The rapid development of technology and digital age make higher education more and more necessary. One of the principal trends of the market is a long-term shift toward well-educated workers.
According to a survey by Georgetown University, after the Great Recession, more than 11 million jobs have been added to the market. At the same time, almost all these jobs need employees with some postsecondary background. Individuals with a Bachelor’s degree got more than 70 percent of the jobs available. The study found that employees with a high school diploma lost approximately 200,000 high-skill jobs.
It’s never too late to learn. That is why many people decide on ongoing professional development which lasts throughout life to accelerate their career and find support in case of job recession. Nowadays, numerous online programs allow anyone to get or continue education at home. Online education helps to reduce tuition cost and gives the disabled persons possibility to get a degree.
It is interesting to note, that it was Bill Gates who wrote in his article about a shortage of college graduates in the USA. Approximately 40 million Americans left their colleges without a degree. However, by 2025 more than a half of jobs will require higher education and intellectual skills.
To Sum Up
Education influences our life dramatically. A good background is not only a source for a career – it is also necessary for personal development and expanding horizons. To sum up, let us figure out the principal benefits of higher education.
- Career opportunities and higher wages. Almost every degree leads to better job opportunities and salaries. Moreover, most employers and reputable companies do not consider a person without a diploma as their prospective candidate.
- More opportunities to study and work abroad. Many colleges provide international partner programs with other educational institutions in different countries. Thanks to Skype, eBooks, audio courses and social networks studying a foreign language is quite simple. Partner programs for gifted students open them up to new cultures and worldviews. Students learn how different problems are solved in other countries. It’s a priceless experience which allows embracing new ideas.
- Better communication and thinking skills. During college years students master a necessary set of skills to capitalize on great ideas. They learn how to transform their ideas into reality and be good at public speaking.
- Development of professional skills. Any educational program consists of theory and practice. For example, if a student studies law, he or she may take part in a training litigation. In that case, fewer mistakes may be made in future.
- Development of discipline. Strict schedules, deadlines, and school curriculum form students’ discipline and nurture them. A bad mark is an evident sign that something has to be done.
- Higher living standards. Many studies confirm the fact that college graduates are more likely to have a healthy lifestyle and lower risks of hazardous habits and obesity. Individuals with higher education are more active and spend more time on volunteer activities. In addition to that, they are more satisfied with their jobs, salaries and feel happier.
- Self-development. When learning, students find out more about culture, scientific achievements, and outward things.
- Relations with classmates. College environment helps students to make connections and establish stable relationships with classmates.
- Contribution to society. College graduates contribute to the US economy and pay more taxes. The Government spends less money on social support programs for well-educated people.