Making the choice to pursue a higher education, or not, is as important as any other life-changing choices you will ever make. To be honest, there are tons of valid arguments for going both ways.
Afterall, not all successful people went to college, right?
Before you put pen to paper on that decision, though, let’s examine some foods for thought.
Consider your earning potential
Again, we maintain that a percentage of people go on to make it big in life even though they never saw the four walls of a college. However, that is not what the average earning power of individuals in this range show.
If the research conducted by the US Census Bureau is anything to go by, the earning potential of an individual increased in line with their educational qualification. To put that in context:
- 9th – 12th Graders: $10,996
- High School Grads: $21,569
- College: $27,361
- Associate Degree: $32,602, and so on.
If this is not enough to convince you to take that higher degree, read on.
Think about your quality of life
If you think the only benefit people get from having a higher education degree to their name is the extra money, you should think again.
For one, people with higher education tend to enjoy better health. That is not because they have learnt how to take better care of themselves – but because they are usually covered under health plans of their employers/ businesses.
That, and we have not even mentioned all of:
- Better civic involvement
- Improved communication – both verbal and written
- Greater sense of accomplishment
- Professional and personal development, etc.
How about the extra opportunities?
Although some graduates get opportunities handed down to them on a platter of gold, that is not the same for everyone. However, the gates of opportunities that the average college graduate has access to is a far cry from the meagre chances their counterparts who thought against a higher education will have.
You have to understand the fact that the world is moving away from the manufacturing-based mindset to a knowledge-based era. This does not mean manufacturing is not important, but the knowledge is what drives it now.
Without the skills to think analytically, solve complex problems and communicate problems and solutions effectively, you might not find a place in the evolving society.
The ease of self-expansion
When in college, the average individual is not just being taught what they are majored in. They are also equipped with tools that will allow them internalize messages, think critically and differently, pose logical arguments and always work towards a solution.
With such a broad mind, there is almost nothing such an individual cannot commit to.
This is in contrast to someone who hasn’t had their minds trained in grasping complex concepts and making almost instant sense of it. That will make any growth beyond the niche they have crafted for themselves very difficult.
Little wonder Julia H. Gulliver said “Let us never be betrayed into saying we have finished our education; because that would mean we had stopped growing.”
Finally, a touch of professionalism
Let’s paint a real-life scenario here:
We assume there are two individuals who are equally passionate about building technology. One of them quits formal education after high school to foray into apprenticeship as a builder while the other decides to go to college and study to become a builder too.
If a project were to be awarded to both of them, who do you think would command the higher charge?
The college guy, of course.
Since he has a degree to prove his proficiency, he suddenly has a higher worth to the client. Even if the other guy knows his stuff better, he would end up being employed by the college guy to work on the project – and get paid lesser still.