Why Should I Go to College? 10 Reasons You Should

Should I go to college? Choosing to attend college, or to complete a four-year degree program at a college, is one of life’s most significant decisions. It is a significant investment of both time and money. This article will help you explore your options.

why should I go to college

Should I Go to College? 

However, college is not the sole path to success, and a degree does not guarantee it. Many professional pathways have no school requirements at all or need significantly less than a standard four-year degree.

In this article, we will attempt to address the question “Should I attend college?” by looking at what can encourage you to continue your education as well as some potential indicators that college may not be for you. We also provide some alternatives.

Reasons You Should Go to College

While the decision to commit to a bachelor’s program is a big one that isn’t for everyone, there are plenty of valid reasons to go to a university, including:

1. Your Dream Job Requires a Degree

If you want to pursue a vocation that demands a degree or a specialized skill set that you can only gain in a university, you should not allow worries to stop you.

Some vocations, such as social work or education, require at least a bachelor’s degree to be eligible to apply.

Some employers, regardless of industry, need a bachelor’s degree because they recognize the value of the skills and experience obtained in a university and want a candidate who can quickly adjust to their job.

2. You Enjoy Learning and the Idea of Academic Life

If you appreciate learning for the sake of learning or being part of a community that values the pursuit of knowledge, a university may be a tremendously fulfilling experience in and of itself.

You can connect with like-minded people who can help you find the direction you need after graduation and earn skills and memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

a university provides opportunities for study in a variety of disciplines. While many students want to finish on time, the college provides them with essential coursework and electives to help them figure out their path.

Take classes tailored to your interests and develop clear career goals, then let the college experience help guide you.

3. You are Torn Between Interests

Not everyone graduates from high school prepared to pursue a job. Typically, the first two years of a university are devoted to core requirements that can be applied to a variety of disciplines.

If you are interested in numerous fields of study, your lower-division courses will allow you to explore other topics. Indeed, this may be considered to be the purpose of your lower-division courses. As a result, many students will not declare a major until their junior year.

4. You are Drawn to College Traditions

College football games, Greek life, or living in a dorm or with other students are examples of university traditions that are appealing to many students.

Being able to rush to a fraternity or sorority or participate in homecoming events is something that many students look forward to. If you are interested in a team sport, a four-year university may have superior options.

While competitive, you may also be able to receive a scholarship.

Being part of these aspects of university life creates a persuasive case for graduating from high school and attending a four-year university. Some of the relationships and colleagues you make may become lifelong connections.

However, this does not always justify high tuition expenses in and of themselves, though it can undoubtedly be a component in the overall decision to attend a university.

5. You Want Networking Opportunities for Your Field

Some positions are only available if you know someone who can introduce you to the relevant individuals at the company. Networking is essential and commonly available on university campuses.

A university provides opportunities to get your name through professional groups and internships. You can also get to know your teachers, especially if you are taking courses related to your degree.

Through their relationships, these academics may be able to help you find a career in the field.

Five Reasons Not to Go to College

Many logical reasons could lead you to reconsider your decision to attend college, especially since certain job options offer just as much potential for success with or without a bachelor’s degree. Some of these causes are as follows:

1. You Don’t Need a Degree for Your Desired Job

Many jobs do not necessitate a college education. Many of these occupations can be trained for through vocational schools, apprenticeships, or just on-the-job learning.

Investigate the salary, job advertisements, and overall criteria for occupations that interest you to see if a degree might be beneficial.

Even if a degree gives you an advantage when looking for jobs, it’s important to understand how much more you’ll make or how many more opportunities you’ll have if you have a degree versus not going to college.

2. You Don’t Like School

There is nothing wrong with comparing your own interests and abilities against the payoff of furthering your education. Are you up for the task of another four years of school?

There are other legitimate employment alternatives that require less education. Some programs also provide more flexibility or permit part-time enrollment.

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3. You Don’t Have the Grades

While there is no reason to suppose you can’t improve your academic performance, you may be denied admission to your preferred institution if your grades and test scores aren’t up to their expectations.

If you need additional time to strengthen your application, consider volunteering or working in the sector to compensate for poor grades.

4. You’re Only Going for Someone Else

If you are just attending college because of parental pressure or responsibility, you may struggle when you arrive at school and are on your own.

Consider taking a gap year in this situation to give yourself more time to decide whether a four-year college experience is what you desire.

A trade or vocational school close to your house may be a better alternative for earning certification credentials.

5. Student Loan Debt is of Concern

While there are scholarships, savings accounts, grants, and student loans available to assist in funding a college education, debt is a significant concern for many college students that can accompany them well into their post-graduate jobs.

If you are concerned about the cost of attending college, you can consider pursuing a field that offers loan forgiveness or a corporation that reimburses tuition.

Another option for reducing the financial burden is to attend a community college during your first two years. Furthermore, state colleges and many vocational schools may be less expensive than other private schools.

It may be beneficial to speak with a school counselor or someone who has gone through the financial assistance process to assist you in navigating the financial aspects of a college education.

Alternatives to a College or University

Alternatives to a College or University

The decision to seek a college education is not an easy one. Fortunately, there are steps you may take to move toward a career—or even a degree—without committing to a degree plan.

1. Start at a Community College

Community colleges, also known as city colleges or junior colleges, offer a wide range of lower-division college work that can transfer to a four-year college, work toward a two-year associate’s degree, provide access to vocational programs, or provide skills that can be applied to a job or otherwise enrich your life.

Most community colleges have no competitive admissions process and merely require a high school diploma or equivalent. A community college’s tuition is also usually much less expensive.

2. Enter a Trade School or Certificate Program

Many fields do not require a degree at all or are only available to those who go through the proper educational channels usually at a lesser cost and with a shorter time commitment.

For example, if you want to work in health care but are turned off by the thought of a lengthy nursing program or medical school, medical billing experts, dental assistants, and paramedics are some job alternatives.

Careers in disciplines such as cosmetology or massage treatment are often founded in trade schools. Many certificate programs can provide you with marketable skills in as little as a year.

3. Start a Business

If entrepreneurship interests you, attending college may reduce the amount of time you need to establish and grow your business.

While studying business or marketing may be beneficial, if you are resourceful, innovative, and have the passion that comes with start-up work, skipping college may be a realistic option.

4. Take a Gap Year

A university campus does not have to be the setting for your soul-searching journey, and many would argue that it should not be.

Why not take a year off from school to travel if you have the means to do so before you get overburdened with commitments? On the other hand, maybe you have a job opening or want to add to your college savings account.

Taking a gap year can also help students make better judgments about their futures by giving them more time to think about their options before enrolling in an academic program.

Should I Attend College? What to Consider

“Not everyone is designed for the four-year college experience, and that’s OK,” said Mack Smith, a retired instruction technologist and college instructor who has helped develop educational programs and counseled students about their career paths.

“There are good jobs available for those who have two-year degrees and technical certifications.”

Smith pointed out that for millennials, alternatives to education can lead to decent, middle-class careers.

Rather than trying to fit yourself into someone else’s concept of how you should live your life, he advised considering what you want to receive out of your schooling and future career.

Consider these five indicators that a traditional four-year college experience might not be the best choice for you as you plan your future.

  • You’re doing it for someone else
  • You’re drawn to other careers
  • You want real-world experience
  • You’re wary of costs
  • Your academics aren’t great

1. You’re Doing it For Someone Else

Smith said one of the worst reasons to go to college is because someone else thinks you should. Whether you hope to impress your parents or want to keep up with your friends, it doesn’t make sense to go to college if you just want to make someone else happy.

“One of my sons thought that he was doing what I wanted by starting out at a traditional school,” Smith said. “It was a disaster. He didn’t enjoy it, and none of the programs interested him.”

Once his son realized that he needed to follow his own path, he quit the traditional school and enrolled in a program that offered an associate’s degree and a technical certificate.

Today, he loves working in airplane mechanics, making a good living without a four-year degree.

“Take a look at your own strengths and weaknesses and choose a program based on what works for you, not what other people think you should do,” said Smith.

“You’re more likely to have long-term success and avoid wasting time and money if you focus on what works for you.”

2. You’re Drawn to Other Careers

Traditional liberal arts colleges may not provide the career training you seek, according to Smith. He has observed as universities that offered career training and skilled vocations programs altered their focus to more academically based degrees over time.

This makes it more difficult for certain students to obtain the necessary career training for the employment they want.

“Look at the offerings at four-year schools. If you aren’t drawn to the degree programs, consider looking at community colleges and technical schools,” Smith advised.

“College might not be for you if nothing in the course catalog inspires you.”

Pay attention to what you love, and look for a program that fits your needs, rather than trying to adapt yourself to a college that doesn’t offer what you want.

3. You Want Real-World Experience

“Not everyone wants to jump into college right away,” said Smith. “Maybe you want to get started earning money. Perhaps you want some real-world experience to help you learn more about what you want to study.”

He added that just about any job can help you learn skills you can use later in your career.

Plus, as Smith pointed out, you might be surprised to discover that a traditional college experience doesn’t always prepare you for the “real” world.

In fact, a survey conducted on behalf of the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that employers think college grads are under-prepared for work.

That doesn’t mean you should abandon all types of training, though. According to Smith, many career and technical programs help you learn on-the-job skills while you go through the program.

Plus, he said, it’s possible to sign up for programs that offer apprenticeships and practicums.

“A four-year college emphasizes book learning and knowledge acquisition. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you might be more interested in getting a jump on actually developing skills employers want,” Smith said.

“If you want to get some real experience and practice skills that can get you hired, putting off a traditional college education can help you.”

4. You’re Wary of Costs

Sometimes, your post-high school education has more to do with affordability than it does with other considerations.

If the price tag of a four-year college sends you into sticker shock, attending a two-year community college can save you big bucks.

According to The College Board, tuition and fees at a two-year college ($3,730 in 2019-2020) cost roughly a third of what you’d be charged at a four-year, in-state school ($10,440).

If you can’t afford attendance at a four-year college right now, it doesn’t mean you won’t have many options. Start with a cheaper program and work as you go.

“Your earnings now can be used later, if you decide to continue advancing your education,” said Smith.

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5. Your Academics Aren’t Great

Maybe you hoped to go to college, but a few poor grades are holding you back.

“I see a number of students who didn’t get serious about school and college until their junior year,” said Smith.

“By then, it might be too late for your GPA if you want to attend a traditional four-year school, especially if you hope for a scholarship to reduce the costs.”

Smith pointed out that many career and technical alternatives to college don’t have the same academic requirements.

“Get your certification and start working,” he said. “Later, if you want to go to college as a non-traditional student, your high school GPA won’t matter as much as your work experience.”

Community colleges often offer a way to improve your grades, too. Once your GPA is higher, you can transfer to a four-year school.

“If your high school grades aren’t good enough for a scholarship or to get into the four-year university of your choice, go to community college,” Smith said.

“Focus on academics for good grades and then transfer when you have your associate’s degree. You might even get a scholarship later.”

Focus on Developing Marketable Skills

“Should I attend college?” might not be the right question to ask yourself. Instead, ask yourself how you can best develop marketable skills that will help you advance your career.

“Whether you want to work for yourself or get a good job working for someone else, what you really need are in-demand skills,” said Smith.

“Think about the most cost-efficient way to develop the skills you need in a career that you will find fulfilling.”

A traditional four-year college might be the answer for you, but for others, that path doesn’t pan out. In that case, alternatives to college can provide better long-term results for your career and your life.

“Be honest about what you want and where you’re at,” suggested Smith. “There are plenty of career programs and technical education programs that can help you accomplish your goals.

Don’t get hung up on going to college once you realize that it’s not actually for you.”

7 Compelling Reasons You Should Go to College

7 Compelling Reasons You Should Go to College

College is a no-brainer for some students. But, before you start filling out applications and going on campus tours, consider this: Why should you attend college in the first place?

If you’ve never pondered your motivations for pursuing higher education, the answer may be more nuanced than it appears.

While college isn’t the right choice for everyone, here’s why a bachelor’s degree can be a smart move.

1. Higher Earnings

One of the most compelling reasons to attend college is to earn more money. Over a lifetime, a higher salary can add up to millions more dollars in the bank.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those with bachelor’s degrees earned a median of $1,305 a week, while high school graduates earned $781. Annually, that amounts to a difference of nearly $30,000.

But what do those extra earnings look like over a 40+ year career?

In a recent Georgetown University study, high school graduates earned a median of $1.6 million over their lives, compared to the $2.8 million earned by college grads—that’s a 75% increase in earnings.

Of course, a college degree doesn’t guarantee a high salary, and wages vary widely based on your chosen major and career.

However, there is a strong correlation between education and wages, and those with higher degrees often out-earn those who skipped college. While college is expensive, it’s often worth the cost.

2. Increased Job Security

Graduating with a college degree typically leads to more job security, which means you’re less likely to face unemployment.

According to BLS data from December 2021, the unemployment rate for workers with a college degree was 2.1%, compared to 4.6% for workers with a high school education.

What’s more, you may be better equipped to weather periods of economic turmoil if you have a college degree.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, those with high school degrees suffered greater declines in workforce participation than college grads.

Between February and May 2020, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, just 52% of high school graduates were working. In contrast, 72% of bachelor’s degree holders remained in the labor force.

This may be because college graduates are more likely to work in industries that could quickly pivot to remote work during the pandemic.

During the Great Recession, similar trends occurred when unemployment peaked in 2010.

Recent college grads between the ages of 22 and 27 had an unemployment rate of 7.1% in June of that year, compared to a 16.2% unemployment rate for those in the same age group without college degrees.

3. Greater Life Satisfaction

More schooling could lead to a happier life—people with bachelor’s degrees tend to be happier than those without one.

According to the Pew Research Center, 75% of American college grads are “very satisfied” with their family lives, but just 64% of those with less than a high school education say the same.

College grads also tend to have longer marriages than those with a high school education, and better marital outcomes can lead to increased happiness.

College-educated women have a nearly 80% chance of remaining married for at least 20 years, while women with a high school education or less have a 40% probability.

Men follow similar trends; about 65% of men with a bachelor’s degree can expect their marriage will last 20 years or longer, compared with 50% of men with a high school diploma or less.

4. Easier Access to Health Insurance

College graduates are more likely to work for companies that offer health insurance benefits than high school grads.

According to a College Board study, 64% of college grads had access to employer-sponsored health insurance, while just 52% of those with a high school diploma did.

Of those who didn’t graduate high school, just 33% had access to medical coverage through their job.

College graduates are also more likely to have access to other perks like paid vacation and sick days, stock options, student loan assistance, and retirement plans.

Nearly 50% of college grads in the private sector had access to an employer-provided retirement plan, compared to about 40% of high school graduates.

5. Better Health Outcomes

Having a college education can actually help you live longer. Those with at least some college education have mortality rates that are less than half of those who haven’t attended college.

High school graduates who have never attended college have a higher rate of smoking—about 3.9 times greater than college graduates, according to a Lumina Foundation survey. Those who haven’t attended college also have a higher rate of obesity and heavy drinking.

There are many reasons that higher education correlates with better health. Those with college degrees have greater access to health insurance, which can lead to more preventative screenings.

The higher salaries that often accompany college degrees can also lead to safer housing, better access to healthy foods, less exposure to pollutants, and greater access to green spaces.

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6. Opportunity to Pursue Niche Interests

A college degree isn’t just about earning more money or finding a good job. College can also be a place to pursue new passions and expand your worldview.

When you attend college, you can take classes outside of your major that exposes you to new ideas and topics of study. You’ll learn new skills and develop interests that could be difficult to cultivate outside of that environment.

Having college goals and being in college gives you access to experienced professors and talented classmates that can broaden your mind.

You can learn from people at the top of their field that whom you might never otherwise have the opportunity to collaborate.

7. Expand Your Professional Network

There’s a common adage in business: Your network is your net worth. In other words, the people you know can impact your professional standing, including how much you earn.

Going to college will inherently expand your network by giving you access to many people in your chosen industry.

Your professors can write you recommendation letters that help you get hired, other students can help you learn about job openings and the university may host recruiting sessions on campus.

A college’s alumni network is also a powerful tool; many schools list alumni that you can reach out to if you’re looking for a job.

You can often find other grads from your college on LinkedIn or through your college’s direct alumni network.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Realistically and pragmatically, until you’re admitted into Cambridge or Oxford, no one will have heard of the school you attended abroad, even if it was in that country’s top tier.

Unless you intend to live in that nation permanently, good luck landing a job or even an interview with RandomEuroCity University on your resume/cv.

  • Pro: You can see your financial aid offer early. 
  • Con: You might not get to compare offers from multiple schools.
  • Pro: You could save money on college applications. 
  • Con: You might be bound to an expensive school. 
  • Pro: You’ll have more time during senior year to apply for scholarships. aaa scholarship

In a nutshell, yes. Having said that, there are several caveats. If you can afford to attend a four-year college and are accepted, there are definite advantages, presuming the four-year college you choose is of high quality.

It does not have to be an Ivy League or Stanford, but it must be a quality school with a well-known history and reputation.

Among the benefits include the ability to live on campus, a greater range of programs, and a guarantee of admission to the college of your choosing.

If you are looking at a STEM, business, medical, law, or any other technical degree – paying off that debt shouldn’t be too much of a problem 

Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to allocate your time among various activities.

If you get it right, you’ll find yourself working smarter, not harder, to get more done in less time – even when time is short and pressures are high. The most successful people are excellent time managers.

High School Diploma is probably not enough to live comfortably on. You should go to college, or at least go get a certificate or go to trade school.

Plainly put, not having a college degree should not diminish your chances of securing a good job. This is good news for many young people entering the workforce.

It’s worth it to go into debt if you have a high-income major from a school with a good reputation in that specific area of study.

A shorter time commitment: On average, trade school requires a shorter time commitment than four-year colleges.

Some people graduate high school, go to trade school, and at a job. Then figure out that they want a different career. THEN they go to college.

Even though attending college can offer many financial, health, and social benefits, no degree can guarantee these things. Not all college grads will find success, just as many people who never attend college go on to achieve happy, prosperous lives.

Please leave your questions and comments in the comment box below. Feel free to share this article with friends and loved ones.

CSN Team.

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