How To Weigh The Importance Of A College Education In Today's Job Market

by Azu

As we all know, college is not what it used to be. It is not the same as when our parents went to school and got a good job immediately upon graduating.

In today’s economy, many post-grads are still struggling to find a career that pays well enough to move out of their parents’ home.

I’ve had conversations with older folks who think people of our generation feel entitled, and nowhere does it say that in our four-year degrees, a job is guaranteed.

It is up to us to start from the bottom and make something of ourselves as we move up the ladder of success.

I can agree that hard work is a quality that can never be overlooked in one's pursuit of success, but didn't we go to college so we can avoid working at McDonald's or Starbucks upon graduation?

Is it not the main selling point of paying college tuition that if we go to school and graduate with good grades, we will get decent jobs?

College is becoming more and more irrelevant for jobs outside of a designated profession like doctor, lawyer, accountant, engineer, etc.

Unless you plan on pursuing post-secondary education, going to school for broad general degrees can potentially be a waste of time and money for the student.

One might argue that we should study fields that will almost guarantee a well-paying job, such as the ones mentioned above. Does that mean we should simply study a career to make money, even though we were never truly interested in doing it?

Understandably, the main reason we go to college is so we can get a good career, but must we sacrifice our happiness for a job that pays well?

So many of us didn’t know what we wanted to do after high school, and our parents preached to us that we should go to college because that is the normal thing to do. Now, as a result, college has become an impulsive decision by many students across the world.

Something that could potentially change your life, get you a job and leave you in debt is not something to be rushed into.

Parents and our school system should be mindful that young people are allowed to take the time to think about what they want to do with their lives after high school.

Take some time to work, travel, get your feet wet or start a business; you will never know what strikes a chord with you until you throw yourself into new experiences. You might find that college is not something you desire, while discovering that the entrepreneurial fire burns deep within you.

If you are set on going to college, that’s fine, too; just know that this is something you want and not something being shoved down your throat by your parents.

Trust that there are other opportunities out there.

The world is changing; thanks to the Internet, you can learn a lot of skills on your own and be on an equal playing field. I’ve worked in tech jobs where half the employees went to school for coding and the other half didn’t. The only thing that mattered was one’s ability to do the job proficiently.

There is a multitude of skillsets you can conquer on your own that can get you a good job, or help launch your entrepreneurial endeavors.

In addition, it is also important to learn the crucial life skills that school doesn’t teach you, like networking, social skills, investing, personal development, etc.

School is not the Alpha and Omega of our destiny. The universe can provide much more than that narrow path; you just have to take action and pursue what you want. Don’t let an overpriced piece of paper with a stamp and signature hold you back.

Photo Courtesy: Brendon Burton