By Alma Causey
Most of us are raised with a strong emphasis on the correct path in life; that is, going to school, college, and then university before stepping into practical life.
We grow up listening to catchphrases about how vital quality education is. Quotes like “higher education lead you to success” and “nothing you learn ever goes to waste” are ingrained in our minds by our elders since the beginning.
Do you ever feel doubtful about these cliches? I certainly don’t, because my life experiences have made me a firm believer in the importance of a quality higher education.
Even examples of a few millionaires who made it big without ever getting enrolled in a grad school do not make me think of higher education any less. I believe getting inspired by rare exceptions is impractical.
The economic gap between high school diploma holders and their college-graduate peers is getting wider by the day.
According to the Economic Policy Institue, graduates earned 56% more than high-school grads in 2015. This means that life post-education remains an uphill battle for undergraduates.
We all sail in our own ships that help us reach where we are destined. The difference with higher education, though, is that it gives us a proper direction and a smoother sail as compared to other’s directionless ships. Getting a degree is not a luxury but a necessity in today’s world.
“Encouragement of higher education for our youth is critical to the success of our collective future.” ~ Charles Rangel
Let us ponder over the reasons to support this discussion:
- Higher education broadens the perspective
Education beyond high school not only teaches you an advanced curriculum, but it also exposes you to many ideas that you can’t learn otherwise.
Academics revolve around the unique perspectives of past scholars. It helps us to see the world from multiple angles and then derives a personal conclusion from it. More in-depth knowledge brings with itself a higher intellect to differentiate between right or wrong.
- Polishes an individual’s multitasking abilities
The years at the University are meant to polish you as a person for the practical life ahead. Curriculums in all field are designed in such a way that it becomes challenging for the students.
Facing a tough challenge with a transparent thought process, and taking several of these challenges simultaneously trains the students for the actual situations you will be meeting outside the college gates.
Their multitasking skills are cultivated, and it is easier for them to juggle responsibilities as a professional and also as in person.
- Develops technological competence
Excessive use of digital technology is a vital aspect of a modern college education. From the use of all kinds of devices, students are now acquiring competent skills in technology.
The importance of digital expertise in today’s world cannot be denied. You need to be well equipped with this knowledge to nail the professional challenges later on.
With more and more processes getting digitalized, there is hardly any occupation left where knowledge about advance digital technologies is not needed. Therefore, the use of devices in college life makes you a pro at using and handling them.
- The habit of self-study is cultivated
Although graduate schools have a well-curated syllabus that is taught by expert professors, however, a whole lot of learning relies on a self-study by the student. Unless he or she does not study the topics on their own independently, they won’t be able to clear the examinations.
In fact, there are several instances where the whole concept is to be cleared on your own, and then you will be assessed on its basis. This will develop a self-study habit which will help you later on in life, comes a situation where independent research is needed to solve an issue.
- Deadlines that help you prepare for future time management
The assignments, projects, and other tasks that you are burdened with during higher education are actually a small prototype of what you will be facing in your professional life.
Submission on deadlines will teach you how to manage your time and utilize it accordingly. If you know how to efficiently manage your time, you are already half on your way to success.
- Recruiters prefer graduates
Let’s imagine the preference for higher education through a recruiter’s perspective. Who would you prefer hiring as the company’s finance manager? A business graduate who has been to one of the best MBA schools in Florida or Texas? Or an undergraduate who has only learned the basics of accounting? Definitely, you will hire the one who has a degree from a prestigious institute as you know he is capable of handling issues. His degree adds credibility to his field knowledge.
Job opportunities that require a diploma are quickly fading away as more and more employers need the applicant to have a graduate or postgraduate degree. According to CBS News, only two-thirds of high school graduates were employed in 2015, down sharply from 73 percent in 2007. Those who are undergraduate mostly get minimum wage jobs.
- Graduates are taken seriously as opposed to undergrads.
People assume you know how to do things. Most of the time, this assumption is proved correct. A person who gets higher education has a habit of understanding an issue before solving it. As a result of this approach, that person is successful in coming up with solutions.
A graduate worker is more likely to belong to a labor union than a high-school-only worker, according to Pew Research Center. Unions have played a significant role in raising pay for their members. A mere 6 percent of workers with a high school degree belong to one.
- Some types of financial aid let the students obtain work experience
The TEACH Grant, Graduate assistant Grant, and the Student Employment Grant require students to work for a set amount of hours. Not only are they rewarding in terms of finance waivers, but they also help the deserving student get work experience.
Much of this experience will come handy once the students begin their journey in the corporate world.
- Learning to build better personal and professional relationships
A better chance of knowing yourself and your friends, acquiring higher education, will teach you how to build connections and how to maintain them. Who knows, you and any of your college buddies end up being successful business partners? That may happen if you both come up with a fantastic plan while studying a topic of interest together.
Two of my business school fellows actually devised a plan for a marketing startup while we were in our third year. They went on to have a successful venture on the same idea, all thanks to the relevant higher education they got.
Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University says that higher education is the strongest, sturdiest ladder to increase socio-economic mobility.
On that note, I will close the discussion while leaving the thought process continued in your mind. Do you agree on how important it is to get higher education? Or are you still of the view that it is not necessary to be wealthy and successful?