As a high schooler, college is always on my mind. No longer do I do my homework just so the teachers won’t yell at me, I do it so that I can have control over which college I go to, as college is a direct link to my future job. However, that magical place is becoming less and less a promise to a secure job, and more and more just another necessary stepping stone. With everybody becoming potential competition, I have to stop to consider some of the issues in the college system, and ask myself if college is even worth it.
To properly address this question, I have to consider some of the changes that have taken place in society. When my grandparents were considering their future, college was a matter of how you perceived the job market. If you wanted a job that you considered fairly easy and abundant, then college was a waste of time and money. On the other hand, if you wanted a job that was a bit more difficult and well sought after, then you had to invest in a degree. In modern day, college is more a matter of whether you want a job or not. Thinking has turned from “this job doesn’t require extra education to perform” to “I’m more likely to get a job with a diploma”. When I consider this, my automatic response is to think that these changes are good, as there is no way extra education can be a bad thing. However, I have to to consider the fact that degrees are expensive, and not all jobs pay well.
Then you have to take into account the fact that the job market takes other things into consideration, it’s not fully a matter of whether or not you went to college. Your career can also be improved by hard work, motivation, past experience, and many other factors. My parents make great examples, as neither of them have a college degree. My mother makes about the average salary, and is perfectly content with eight hour workdays and weekends off. My father is a bit more eager to “climb the corporate ladder” and will spend upwards of ten hour workdays, and only takes weekends if absolutely nothing needs to be done. He claims he could be doing much better with a college degree, but as it it his hard work is well remunerated. He is constantly receiving promotions and is definitely on the higher end when it comes to salaries.
Another issue is that if you choose to go to college, the transfer process from college to a job can be frustrating. There are similarities between school and work, but there are also enough differences that students aren’t prepared to face a full time job. Then you have to face the problem that many employers look for past experience, and not all students have time to gain any work experience. As a student enrolled in AP courses and extracurricular activities, there isn’t much time left over after school obligations. I find this a problem, as jobs shouldn’t just be for the students who have extra time on their hands. I believe the best way to handle these issues is to offer students a class on how to handle the job market, and give them time to take up a part time job while completing their education.
So while there are problems when it comes to college, there are things we can do to fix it. Students can take time to consider what they want for the future, and if college is going to be more beneficial or harmful to them. Colleges can also change some things, such as allowing students more time to experience the work force. Overall, we can make the process from college student to working member of society much easier.
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