Going to college is definitely not by any means the end all be all to having a successful life and career. However, there are simply some careers that you cannot be a part of unless you have a degree or multiple degrees for that matter.
The question is should you go to college? If you really want to earn the highest amount of money you can without starting a business then you need to go to college. You can go to college to get a 2-year or 4-year degree. There are also vocational or trade schools that can get you jobs quickly in plumbing, heating/cooling, and electrician. These trades actually pay quite well.
If you are interested in the medical field, engineering, accounting, etc. you are probably going to at least have to get a two or four-year degree.
Most medical jobs that go beyond the scope of nursing, aids, and technicians, will have to go to more than 4-years of schooling to obtain the degree needed.
If you are interested in being a professor or a CEO of a company you might have to go back and get your P.H.D. or M.B.A.
It all depends on what your end goal is for your career and yourself in general.
The decision to go to college, the number of years spent at college, and the degrees that need to be obtained are really going to differ for each person and their specific career path. The typical college plan is four years but there are plenty of people that take more semesters or years to finish a “four-year degree”.
When it comes down to it, college isn’t for everyone. You don’t have to go to college to make good money. I know many people who are extremely successful and don’t have a degree.
Going to college simply is just determined by your end career goal. Don’t feel forced into debt and obtaining a degree if you are interested and good at a trade or alternative career choice that would give you the same salary and happiness level either way. As long as you are working on yourself and your career, college is just a stepping stone when needed.
Why go to College
The first step to figuring if you are going to college or why you should go to college is to choose a career.
You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do with your life by any means, but you need a start. You probably have a good idea just simply based off of life experiences if you would want to be involved in the medical field. If you get queasy looking at blood or hate watching bloody shows, you probably meant for that specific field. But, that’s okay! Knowing fields that you don’t want to go into can be just as helpful as knowing fields that you do want to go into.
Some other careers that may be easy to evaluate based on experiences you have already had such as teaching, business, politics/law, plus more.
You know based on your years of having teachers teach you is this something that you would be interested in.
Your dad or mom may have a profession that you are interested in pursuing. Maybe you were a sickly kid so you want to be a doctor to help others.
You should at least know what you are interested in or would be interested in learning more about.
I am naming career paths that normally go along with college degrees. However, there are definitely some exclusions.
You can be a successful realtor with a realty license and no college degree.
To be a plumber or electrician you can go to a vocational high school to learn the trade. When you graduate you can get an apprenticeship with a company.
Figure out if your passion or your career choice requires college. If you really want a specific job that requires a degree then college is simply something you must do to obtain that goal.
Is it Worth it to go to College? And Why?
This question is going to be different for everyone. College is definitely only what you make of it. For the first time, you have absolute freedom and don’t have anyone telling you what to do.
This can be great for many reasons but it can also make things hard because no one is pushing you to be involved, do your best, go to class, etc. You have to have a serious drive and a serious want to learn and do well.
You can easily get super involved in extracurricular activities at college, get close with professors, stumble on amazing experiences, travel, and get internships but only if you set your mind to do so.
You Have to Work for What you Want
Nothing is going to be handed to you in college, especially grades. You can no longer only study for tests the night before. You have to choose to dedicate your life to education for four years. This is the only way to make it work and to be worthwhile.
You or your parents are paying a ton of money to go to college and you are spending all of your time there so you need to make the work count. That is why everyone has such different college experiences because it really just depends on how each person reacts to the environment and the amount of effort, they put into it.
What are the Pros and Cons of Going to College
When talking about college and if you should go let’s break down the pros and cons:
- You meet so many new people and you get to network with people
- You’re surrounded by future nurses, teachers, CEOs, politicians, etc.
- Opportunities for your career and advancement are huge
- Chance to travel
- There are possibilities to do projects or cool research depending on your major
- Easier to get set up with an internship
- So many extracurricular activities to try out at school
- Independence with many life lessons you will learn
- Responsibility for your work at school, a part-time job and your schedule
- Going out with friends, football games and just all the social activity is awesome
- You are more likely to have a higher income than someone that did not go to college
- College has gotten expensive
- Debt after school if you need to take out loans
- Coursework is much harder than high school so college is a full-time job
- You may get homesick the first year especially if you moved far away
- This will be 4 years or more of your life so you will be poor while in school
Why is College the Best Option?
The honest answer is, college isn’t the best option for everyone. If you know that you hated high school and you don’t think that you can do the work that needs to be done in college then don’t waste your time, find an alternate route or career. You can also wait until you are older and more mature to go back to college.
College is your best option if you enjoyed some of your classes in high school, strived academically in high school, etc. Even if you weren’t the smartest in high school or didn’t try as hard as you could, just think about your work ethic and how you would act if you were working towards an end goal of a college degree.
Many average high school students thrive in college because they are actually interested in what they are learning. You don’t get to choose what classes you have to take in high school, but you will get to choose most of the classes in college.
The other choice you have is your career path.
If you are feeling unsure, start out with taking a few classes from a community college or online classes. Those will give you a good idea of what college classes are like.
Online Accredited Universities:
- Arizona State University
- The Ohio State University
- Oregon State
- University of Florida
- University of Illinois Chicago
- University of Oklahoma
- Colorado State University
- Penn State World Campus
- Indiana University
- George Mason University
What do I do if I’m Not Going to College?
There are so many options that aren’t advertised as much as they should be when it comes to different paths then college. If you are still in high school, you could always talk to your principal or counselor about any sort of technical school option.
Many technical high schools allow you to obtain an associate degree while still in high school. This means that you could graduate with a high school diploma and an associated degree. If that isn’t an option you can look into construction, the oil field, welding, cosmetology, being an electrician, etc.
There are many options out there you just have to figure out which one makes the most sense for you. Once again, if you know that you aren’t going to put the effort into college, you hate taking classes, or you know you want to do something that doesn’t involve a degree, don’t feel pressured into spending money you don’t need to. It is always an option to go back to school.
Overall, most decisions when it comes to college are going to be very specific to each individual. Another option if you are having trouble deciding what you want to do, is to go into school undecided. You can get your general education courses out of the way while you figure out what path you want to take.
Normally all colleges have great programs to show you different majors and help you find your passion. As long as you are doing something that you feel good about and enjoy, you are making the right decision for yourself.