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Furthering your education by attending and graduating from college with a 4-year degree has become almost a necessity in today’s working world. Of course there are still some trades that don’t require this type of formal education, like plumbers, electricians, landscapers, truck drivers, etc., which are all completely capable of making a living considered enough to support their family. If you want to work in many other fields however, a minimum requirement that you’re likely to see is “4 year degree”. Many people are starting to argue that the diploma you receive at the close of those four years isn’t exactly worth the debt you’re bound to be in for the next 5-10 years. Colleges are going for anything from $10,000 to $70,000 per year. So, does college really prepare you for your career? Some people will argue that no, it does not.
Those people wouldn’t exactly be wrong. It really depends on what you’re going to school for and what you plan on doing with that experience once you’re done. For example, nurses, teachers, and engineers all need the practical experience before jumping into their job. College can offer them exactly that. Poetry, management, and communications majors on the other hand learn a lot more than they get to experience. It probably has more to do with how you learn than what is taught, but it seems to be that hands-on real-life experience is a better way to master your skills than by reading from a textbook in a lecture room.
Maybe the courses you took on supply chain management, or economic basics stuck with you, but did they make you better at what you do? The theory is that college can be shortened drastically. Students are taught such broad information that will probably never come up again in their entire career. High School students argue it all the time by whining about how they are never going to have to use geometry or pre-calc again in their lifetime, and honestly, they’re probably right. The trouble is that college students don’t always know exactly what they want to do, so the classes they take cover a broad discipline rather than teaching them how to be successful in their given role. It doesn’t sound so bad at first, but when you think about in at the angle of you’re paying about $1,700-$5,000 per class, that hurts. This is why companies have to hold training sessions, camps, and workshops for new employees. It’s a great thing to have, because new employees are able to learn exactly what it is they’re supposed to be doing as well as how they should be doing it, but unless you’re an accountant, engineer, or doctor, don’t you think you could pick up on your duties through shadowing and training?
Supervisors don’t learn supervisory skills in college, they learn them through experience of managing workers, successfully meeting deadlines, and completing tasks. Sales representatives don’t learn about the product their selling until their company hires them, so they learn as they go. Some employees didn’t even major in the discipline they’re now working, but they were able to catch on and succeed in their role, so the education part doesn’t exactly matter.
There’s no denying that certain positions require lengthy educations, lectures, exams, readings, and mentorships, but others truly shouldn’t. College has become a massive industry, topping nearly $463 billion per year. Unfortunately, some employers won’t consider you without holding that piece of paper that comes in the mail after four years of hard work, but is that really fair? It’s possible that the college years prepares you with the knowledge you need to get by in the real world, but is it an absolute must in order to lead a successful career? Who knows. Those that have dropped out of college and become billionaires are a rare-breed. Think about it though, the generations before us didn’t need a college education to get by just fine, so why do we now?