Three Reasons Why We Do Need College
Binge Thinking time here. I have been mulling over college life lately. For one reason, I miss intellectual life. My current occupation is very dry in this sense. We don’t do a lot of intellectual discussion when evaluating the merits of buying or selling a home. I am also somewhat concerned about what will happen to my children (one is 16 and the other 14) after they get out of public education. Do they venture into the depths of university life, or do they follow a trade? What is best for them in the short term versus the long term?
There has been a lot of media lately about the massive amounts of student loan debt accumulated by students attending the four year university. Most of it is dead on. I am 45 this year and I still find myself paying off student debt. It is a lifelong commitment. I have even thought about going back to school myself to stimulate my intellectual life again, but it simply costs too much for me to undertake that option. Most likely, I will probably never get my PHD in anything.
So, what do my kids do? It is a risk to invest time, money and effort into a four year degree that you might not even utilize in ten years. Despite the downfalls of a four year degree, I believe there are some good reasons to still get that Bachelor’s degree. Here are three of them.
1. University Life is more than the classroom education. Sure, you go to college to get a degree that will get you set on your career path. However, it was more than a classroom that made my five and half years in school worth it. It was the other things. I grew up learning how to better interact with people, I learned critical thinking skills from my professors so I don’t take anything at face value. I grew a sense of what it takes to make it financially in the world by renting out an apartment my last four and half years. I learned life lessons and it made the transition over to being on my own so much easier.
2. Investment worth it. I do realize that college education is a roll of the dice. I mean I am not doing what I studied at St. Eds at all. I was going to be the great american writer and now I deal in real estate. However, if you are lucky enough to find your lifelong career in college, you can get a good return on the investment. For example, my wife is a Speech Language Pathologist. She is going to make more than $2 million dollars in her career, after spending $100K on her education. I am not a finance guy, but the numbers seem good to me!
3. Opens so many more doors. You can get into a good job without a college education, but the opportunities with a bachelor’s degree still far outweigh ones that don’t require one. For many jobs, it is the minimal requirement to even be considered. It might be that you don’t get into the field you studied in college (and a lot of people do not), but if you want to be considered for many of the jobs on the market today, without a bachelor’s degree, you don’t have a chance. Along with these degree required opportunities, come larger income potentials so if you have the dream of making a lot of money, it will be much more difficult without the degree.