As young Americans living in the 21st century, we have many options when it comes to what we want to do after we graduate high school. Many choose to go to college and earn a degree while others choose to go straight to work or join the military. While all are very good choices for the young men and women who choose each path, some might be more rewarding than others. Earning a degree is something I think all young adults should do regardless of which path they choose; it brings much more economic security, many more job opportunities, and, in most cases, a broader understanding of the world and how it works.
One of the first major reasons for my believing this is the economic benefits of the college degree. As we all know, we have been in economic downturn for the past several years, and one study in 2008 found that this was due to a lack of college degrees, or partially at any rate. “One of the biggest developments in this year’s report is the strength of the relationship between higher education and the economy,” said Dewayne Matthews, Lumina’s vice president for policy and strategy. “People are beginning to understand that job growth is a structural issue, and that higher education is the key to economic growth. (UPI Top New, 2010)
As you can tell, there is a correlation between what our economy does and the education that we, as Americans, receive after we leave high school and start to enter the real world. It is saying that the American economy cannot survive with employees that have limited knowledge and education. This is not to say that those who do not go to college do not contribute to society however there is an extremely important need for an educated populous to pull us out of this economic deficit.
The opportunities for person to find a well paying job are exponentially increased upon receiving a degree from an accredited college or university. “America needs more workers with college degrees, certificates and industry certifications. ” (Arabia 2000, 2010) This quote indicates another point I am trying to make: The employers in America simply cannot find the people they need to fill the jobs that require higher education and training.
It used to be that you didn’t need a degree to get a job, sure it helped, but you didn’t have to have it. Well in today’s society it’s practically a requirement and the trend seems to only be growing. If this is the case, wouldn’t you want to arm yourself with as much education and prowess before meeting with employers who won’t consider your application if you do not have a degree attached to it? The answer is yes, you are more likely to get a job over someone if you have a degree and they do not.
There is a correlation between jobs and degrees, and the article “Help Wanted: Projecting Jobs and Education Requirements through 2018” (Arabia 2000, 2010) indicates that this relation is growing closer and even estimates that 63% of all jobs will require some type of post-secondary degree by the year 2018. As you can see, there is substantial evidence leaning towards employers needing a degree, specifically the ones that will allow you to live in a comfortable middle-class lifestyle.
Instead of exercising the appropriate mental muscles, we’re allowing ourselves to become a nation of nitwits, obsessed with the comings and goings of Lindsay Lohan and increasingly oblivious to crucially important societal issues that are all but screaming for attention. What should we be doing about the legions of jobless Americans, the deteriorating public schools, the debilitating wars, the scandalous economic inequality, the corporate hold on governmental affairs, the commercialization of the arts, the deficits? ” (Guelph Mercury (ON, 2010) this seems rather harsh, but it speaks some truth.
There seems to be a lot of Americans these days not contributing anything but TV ratings to society. It’s not a very pretty picture to paint of our country, but the author is saying that our world view is extremely limited and higher education helps broaden that. Going to college is a unique experience in its own, going off on your own, being independent and everything that comes with it. But what about the education you are receiving, when you receive a college education you receive the social responsibility as a global citizen to help us advance as a society.
Through your college experiences you are obtaining the tools to go out and change the world, to be a responsible global citizen and to change the way things are going in this country. By not obtaining higher education you are sitting by and watching as the world zooms passed and doesn’t even glance your way. For those who choose to go to work or the military instead of college first, there are still options for you to earn a degree and become successful and earn a higher pay and better job.
If you attended a career center and decided to go straight to work, you can and should pursue a degree in the field that you trained in, some jobs might even pay for you to go and getting more training in order to have you as a strong asset in the future. Other companies might even pay towards your student loans after graduating college. New Hampshire has a program called “Stay Work Play” (Work-Life Newsbrief & Trend Report, 2009) that uses incentives for companies to keep jobs in the state by paying $8,000 towards your college loans and get you to work for them.
As for the military, you have the option to go to college for free. The GI Bill of Rights (FDCH Congressional Testimony, 2010) was created at the end of World War II and contains a provision to help pay for servicemen and women to attend college. This give you the option to earn a degree and still serve your country, and get a high pay and maybe earn a higher status in the military by having a degree that helps you perform a job for them. There are thousands of opportunities awaiting you when you start your journey after earning a high school diploma, as you can see.
Living in this current economy is not a fun experience and the more money you can make helps not only you but it helps the economy start to thrive again. You have the opportunity to prove the nay-sayers in the world wrong, and help change the world and become an effective global citizen. For those who don’t think they should earn a degree or think they can’t because they chose to go into the military or work, you can still do it! In this day and age we all need an edge in order to get anywhere and succeed, empower yourself to become the successful young man or woman you know you can be and get a degree.
Courtney from Study Moose
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