When it comes to higher education, it can be difficult to know if it is the right choice. While there is considerable research pointing out the inherent benefits of having a university degree – certified qualification and possible income boost, to name a few – there is a lot to be said about taking a step back, considering one’s own attitude and relationship with education and what it takes to successfully make it through a certification and out the other side. Regardless of if one is committing all their time to their law degree, or if they are having to work while they take on chemistry tuition and to pass their courses, the fact remains the same: for each individual student, the learning experience is different.
For years, we have placed a certain ideal upon the shoulders of upcoming generations, nearly always inclining towards the belief that higher education is better than taking another path directly out of secondary education. Realistically, this is not the truth. While there are definitive benefits to opting to study via higher education, there are worlds of opportunity available that do not demand a further 3-4 years (minimum) of learning and practice. Every individual’s journey is going to differ slightly, and we now exist in a time where students are impressed upon the importance of understanding what exactly it is they are committing to, should they decide to angle towards higher education.
Cost versus virtue
Going to university is not for everyone. Committing to another 3-4 years of education on top of the compulsory academic career that most go through seems impossible to all ends for some people. The virtue of the college or university experience is fantastic for those that are investing in their higher education studies with their minds made up about their professional futures. If an individual goes into higher education study without first understanding their expectations for its outcome, then often what happens is that the individual drops their studies, leading to a significant financial cost that they have nothing but the debt to take from. Evaluating cost verses virtue is essential before any individual dives into higher education study – always.
Passion versus obligation
Of course, education is something that everyone should have access to – if they want it. The simple fact is that not everyone wants to go to college or university. This is something that, realistically, should be completely fine – to each their own and what not. In the real world, there are countless career opportunities that do not even need a qualification, so pressure to study to fit the mould of the present-day economy requirements is not a thing. It goes without saying that every single person should feel able and supported to go into whichever career they like – regardless of if that career requires a degree or not. If an individual is not truly passionate about biological science or teaching, then they should save their energy, money, and time and put it all towards a career that they genuinely want to pursue.
Specialization versus limited practical experience
A college graduate can say they are specialized in a certain field, they have gained the expertise necessary in a certain professional branch. Higher education brings this possibility to the table, pursuing a specialization and sharpening skills and knowledge in a certain domain. However, many universities focus on theoretical teaching, and lack support in term of real-life, practical experience.
Increased job opportunities versus over-qualification issues
A great resume with higher studies can influence a potential employer in regards to hiring a candidate. Higher education looks great on paper, and naturally provides one with a higher pole of job options. Depending on major, a person who has gone to college might have at their disposal a wider variety of career opportunities to choose from. It cannot be denied that for some positions, candidates with more studies will have a leap advantage over those who haven’t been to college. However, the issue of over-qualification also needs to be discussed. In some cases, employers will not take into consideration the application of a college graduate from the belief they are over-qualified and might leave the job quickly.
Social benefits versus lack of free time
Last but not least, one should consider the social factor involved here. The majority of individuals going to college have admitted that they have met their current closest friends during the years spent at university, which is certainly not something one can neglect. The bonds, connections and friendships that can be built during college can have a positive effect on an individual’s life, giving them the opportunity to develop and strengthen social skills. Universities all around the globe are promoting social lifestyles and environments that give one the change to meet people from different backgrounds. This can also influence a person in discovering new interests and hobbies. However, considering the workload that comes with getting a degree, lack of free time comes as a disadvantage here. While there are so many opportunities for socializing and developing new interests, the amount of time in which a student can do that is rather limited. Of course, this can depend on major and other details of this kind, but it can be often challenging to work around a hectic study program.
While pursuing higher education comes with a wide range of responsibilities, starting from financial implication from one’s part and up to extensive workload, which might affect certain areas of the student’s life, the benefits ensured are definably ones that make this choice worthwhile. When an individual is thinking about the prospect of going to college, they are also thinking about their future and career. However, if one’s goals for the future could be met through other means of studying, and a simple certification might be sufficient to land their dream job, enrolling into college just because it’s the right thing to do isn’t recommended. Analyzing the pros and cons with precise care and attention is always advised, before someone makes such an important choice in regards to their future, and the aspects above mentioned might be helpful here.