Over the past few years, jobs have increasingly dropped their requirement for applicants to possess a professional degree. This has led to the harmful belief that going to a postsecondary school may not be worth it anymore–however, those four years in college are more valuable now than ever.
As tuition costs have risen over the past 50 years, many people find themselves unable to afford a college education. Because of the seemingly never-ending inflation on tuition, some white-collar jobs have stopped requiring their hires to have a degree. This has led many to the conclusion that a college degree is becoming more irrelevant in the job market.
Most people would agree that it is beneficial for some jobs to not require undergraduate degrees so those who cannot afford tuition can still hold a high-paying job. While this is definitely helpful to those unable to get their degrees, this does not mean that a college education is becoming less valued.
Having a bachelor’s degree on a resume still has its perks, regardless of how many jobs require it. Those with degrees often earn 75% more than those without one, according to a study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Additionally, jobs tend to view those with degrees and the skills to prove it more qualified for a position.
Regardless if a job requires someone to have a degree or not, the college experience is enough alone to help anyone succeed in future career endeavors.
College students tend to be more prepared for the workforce than someone who has not had the same experience. With resources like mock interviews, career centers, professional readiness courses and more, students have the opportunity to prepare for their future job before they even apply.
Biology pre-PA major Corrinne Harvey has used many of the school’s resources to help her succeed both academically and professionally. She has met peers and faculty that have helped her grow in ways she never imagined.
“Going to college has helped me become a more productive and better adult overall,” said Harvey. “I have grown so much as a person. The person I was in high school is not the person that I am now.”
While many students pursue a college degree because they need one for their desired career, some of the greatest benefits come from personal experiences.
On campus, students are able to develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, problem solving, time management and more. Since students spend most of their time in class with each other, they are bound to build these skills each day. Every class project teaches students what type of people they work best with, how important deadlines are and why self-motivation is important.
Students often talk about “finding themselves” at college by discovering their interests, values and identity. Because going off to school is the first time many young adults will live on their own, they gain independence and the freedom to find out who they truly want to be. This is especially necessary for the recent classes of freshmen, who went through the majority of high school during the pandemic.
Harvey is a peer mentor that often reassures freshmen that it’s okay to not have their lives planned out yet. As someone who used to want to be a dermatologist and is now studying biology, psychology and chemistry, she knows what it’s like to not have it all figured out when you start college.
“For me personally, I think if I didn’t know what I wanted to do, if I didn’t have the passion that I had, I think college is still a good place to figure things out,” said Harvey.
College acts as a transition phase for many by taking the first step into independent living and discovering what one wants to do with their life. By getting involved in student organizations, students are able to discover a passion they may have never considered before.
Harvey is the president of Scientista, an organization for women in STEMM at FSC. Being involved with the foundation has boosted her networking and given her an outlet to make an impact on women and girls’ lives.
“I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot and I’m pretty proud of myself,” said Harvey.
Many colleges have students study an array of subjects and take electives based on their interests. If someone does not have a specific career path in mind, many schools will allow them to claim their major as “undecided.”
Sophia Costa is a freshman with an undecided major at FSC. She is utilizing this major while she decides what area of study will suit her best for her future.
“Right now my desired career path is music management, but I think I will be going in the business administration and management route,” said Costa. “I believe [undecided] is the best major for me because I do not have a desire to perform music, therefore the business route is the next best option to try and get the jobs I want in the future in the music industry.”
The real world experience that college provides is irreplaceable. A college degree is still valuable in the job market, but that’s not the only reason people pay large tuition amounts for four years.
It makes no sense to normalize skipping college just because someone might not know what they want to do with their future yet, when that’s what college is designed to help with. While everyone has their reasons for choosing whether or not to pursue a postsecondary education, there’s no question when it comes to the impact the college experience can have on one’s life.