Every year, thousands of highschool graduates receive letters of acceptance, or rejection, with the belief that where they attend college will determine their employment future. As a highschool student preparing for college, I would like to believe that that is not necessarily true. Society and social pressures often give the impression that in order to live a successful life, a degree must be earned from a specific university, yet the reality is, where you go to college isn’t as important as most assume.
Whether an individual attends a prestigious university or the common college is less important than the skills and knowledge they can provide employers, so the cost and debt incurred may not be worth it.
Where an individual attends college isn’t nearly as important as society makes it out to be. Employers only care about how well and efficient an employee is when completing a task, not about where those skills were obtained. Even Obama once stated, “I have no idea where most of the people who worked for me went to college.
I just know: Did they get stuff done or did they not.” Likewise, a “survey conducted by Gallup found that only 9% of business leaders consider where a job applicant went to school to be “very important.” Rather, the amount of industry knowledge that person possessed was overwhelmingly most important, at 84%, followed closely by the candidates job skills at 79%.”(Bond 1). Attending a prestigious university rather than the common college to earn a degree makes no difference to employers as long as the skills of the employee meets or exceeds their expectations.
While society makes out college as a factor in determining someone’s success, employers don’t necessarily care where an employer went to earn a degree.
Moreover, the cost of attending a prestigious university is absurd, and may not be worth it. According to Mercury News, “more than 44 million Americans owed about $1.5 trillion on student loans at the end of March 2019, more than twice what they owed a decade earlier.”(Shibbe 1). Student debt has sky-rocketed in the past decade, and is a problem not worth the price. A study done by Pew Research found that “about a third of student loan holders think the lifetime financial costs of their bachelor’s degree outweigh the benefits.”A “good” education has been wrongly interpreted as “expensive.” According to Forbes “40 million Americans are burdened with student loan debt that totals over $1 trillion”(Bond 1), which is outrageous, considering that most college students will not make an income that will satisfy their debt. The burden of student loan debt from an elite school is not worth the price. Attending an elite university includes a future debt that could easily be avoided for less costly options that can earn the same degrees, and since employers do not tend to care where the degree came from it is not worth the cost.
Ultimately, it may not matter what college an individual attended, it is the fact that they did. To employers it’s your abilities that sets you apart from others, not an expensive degree. The skills one can provide are far more important than the school they went to. In the end it isn’t the college you attended that determines success- it’s yourself. College is important, but even more important is the knowledge gained from the experience. Perhaps attending the most distinguished school can mean to select one that carries cachet in a specific field or study, not the most pricey and renowned university.
Many people argue that college is not worth the cost. Some individuals say that college is too expensive and when they graduate they are not able to find a job with their degrees. People also say that college is not worth the amount of money they have to pay back in loans after they graduate. Those are all points stated in Rodney K. Smith’s essay “Yes, A College Education is Worth the Costs,” as he argues his point on why going to college and receiving a degree in an occupation of any sort. To others, a college education is worth the costs of the loans because pursuing a higher education will greater your chances of getting a better job, the college experience will teach you responsibility, also the rewarding opportunity you experience.
Pursuing a higher education by attending college can greater your chances of getting a better job. When people go for a job interview, the interviewer is looking for someone with a college education. Yes, the person being interviewed may still get the job if they do not have a college education, but the person with the most education nine times out of ten will be the one chosen for the job. When someone has a higher education listed on their resumes it also qualifies them for a higher salary. Take working at a fast food restaurant for example. There are, crew members who earn minimum wage with nothing higher than a high school education, and then there are the store managers, general managers, district managers, etc. These are the people who have a college education and they earn anywhere from about ten dollars an hour and up. College has its perks even though the cost of it may deter people away, one has to be determined.
Although college helps people solidify their future with a stable income, it will also teach individuals how to be responsible. One thing about college, if a person does not learn anything else he/she will learn how to be responsible and prioritize their time, if they want to be successful. It is okay to want to go out and spend time with friends, but college is not like high school, were the teacher hands everything to the student and holds the students hand. In college, students are expected to be responsible and to keep up with their work/due dates of assignments. If one feels as though they are not responsible enough to be on their own and go off to college, then yes of course college would not be worth the cost. They would be wasting money especially if they are receiving financial aid, that money could go to some other student whom is more dedicate to being responsible and getting their work done. Although, there is an alternative to someone who wants to go to college and get an education but does not want to pay the high costs that big colleges and universities charge, community college. Many people have their own opinion towards whether college may or may not be worth the costs. The chance of an individual getting a great job with a pay raise that is more than minimum wage definitely makes college worth it. Even if you do not want to go to a big college or university where it cost a lot of money to attend you have the option of going to a community college. The responsibilities college teaches individuals will pay off in the end when a person enters the real world. The opportunity and the experience that a person gets out of going off to college is more than rewarding. There are many different options that students have if they do plan to get a college education but feel as though college might be a bit expensive.
Smith, Rodney K. “Yes, College is Worth the Cost.” Kirszner, Laurie G. and Stephen R. Mandell. Pratical Argument. New York: Bedford/St. Martin, 2014. 29-31.