The majority of job listings will have higher education as a prerequisite to apply. In practice, however, HR specialists are not that interested in your diploma. Nowadays more and more people start to believe that tertiary education is a must. According to them, it is virtually impossible to have a good life without a university diploma. But does this statement hold true? It seems like there are too many stereotypes around the topic. Let us take a closer look at particular reasons that people state as their motivation to get a degree so that you know if it is a good thing for you.
Good reasons to get a degree
Learning things you won’t be able to achieve yourself. This is probably the only 100% convincing reason to get into a university. Indeed, certain areas require specific education to be practiced safely (or even legally). It is literally impossible to become a doctor or a chemical engineer with no proper education. If it is what you are looking for, a college can help a great deal in both theory and practice.
When first introduced, the sole purpose of higher education was to provide people with knowledge and skills, acquisitions of which individually was hard, impossible or even unethical. As the time went by, even those occupations that did not require a special diploma in the past turned to the means of college programs.
Improving overall expertise. Higher education is not only about getting a specific set of skills, it is also about finding information on the desired topic and applying it effectively. Often forgotten, this skill is probably the most important one to acquire on your journey to a university diploma. Of course, most people are capable of acquiring this skill all by themselves. Still, a college can make the learning experience smoother and easier to digest. If you want to learn how to learn, higher education can help, and help a lot. More than that, higher education can broaden your horizons in a wide range of subjects — ranging from psychology and philosophy to economics, sociology and law. Knowing more about any of these things won’t hurt, as well.
Smooth transition to adulthood. This, of course, will only apply to people younger than 24. The life of an adult is radically different from that of a teenager. For a lot of young people, the transition to adulthood can be a traumatizing experience. Of course, there is no way out of adulthood — sooner or later we all tend to become self-responsible (well, most of us). The time spent at the university can play the role of a buffer zone between you and your soon-to-come adult life.
This way of thinking is highly subjective and won’t suit everyone. Still, this is your ‘legal’ chance to spend more time as a teen and less time as an adult, slowly getting used to new tasks and responsibilities. For some people, on the contrary, it can be better and even easier to dive right into the world of adults, with no needs to gradually adjust your reality. It is worth mentioning that the first two options, stated above, are still more preferable that this one.
Imaginary reasons to get a degree
Inability to get a decent job without a degree. A lot of people believe there is no way out of poverty outside the career path that begins with a university degree. Clarify your career goals and only then send the application. What really motivates you? Your success in life will depend on a lot of factors, with higher education being not the most important one. In the XXI century skills are more important than education per se. It is, therefore, perfectly plausible to get a decent job with no diploma at hands. Being good at house renovations and working as a flight attendant both do not require four (or more) years spent in college but still require a lot of professionalism. The list of possible options is not limited to those two. Certain career roles enable you to get higher education at the employer’s expense. Say, policemen and other state employees.
Lack of respect. Higher education, for obvious reason, is considered to be an achievement dwarfed by few. A lot of energy and persistence is required to get a degree. As a result, a lot of people believe they will not be entitled to a lot of praise and respect without completing one of the college programs. The solution to this concern lies in the field of psychology. Should you be more worried about respect than the actual skills you acquire, consider consulting a therapist.
Birth attendants, jewelers and art restorers do not require a degree, yet nobody calls their jobs unprofessional or undervalued
Bad reasons to get a degree
Parental pressure. In a lot of cases, it is beneficial to take your parents’ advice to heart. However, you are the one responsible for your own life. Listen to your parents when they give you advice but don’t let their authority overpower your opinion and divert yourself from an already chosen path.
Everyone else has a degree. You probably already know that doing something simply because everyone else is doing the same is not always a good idea. Higher education is one of those cases. Assess your desires and capabilities before entering a university. Keep your own goals in mind and dismiss the public pressure.
Higher education is a good tool that can turn you into a real professional. However, not all specialists require a university diploma. A lot — and we mean a lot — of humanities can be studied at home with no access to college facilities. It can also be done faster and more efficiently. Try to recall the most iconic writers of the XXth century. Not all of them received higher education, relying mostly on real-life experience and tons of practice. Technical engineers, too, do not necessarily need a diploma to receive a high-paying job. Self-taught computer experts can in most cases compete with their more educated colleagues. Higher education is not the only source of knowledge you need to get into a particular field.
One last thing
You and only you should be responsible for education-related decisions. Some people may find it useful, while the other would be better off spending several years getting real-life experience. Higher education is a tool and should be treated as such. There is simply no such question as whether higher education is a good or a bad thing. For everyone, the answer will be different and it is up to you to make the choice.