Will a Degree Help You Establish a Career?
In a world where traditional career paths are constantly changing and it’s possible to get a job without a college education, you might wonder if college is a wooden warship, sailing away.
But that’s just not true.
Benefits of a Degree
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, those with a bachelor’s degree or higher were paid more than the median weekly earning. What’s more, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that people aged 25-34 with a bachelor’s degree saw an 86% employment rate, a 14% increase over their peers who’d only finished high school.
Your Survival Kit
Although a degree isn’t a career on a platter, it’s far more valuable: it’s the survival kit you use to enter and navigate the jungle that is the workforce.
The bottom line is that employers are looking for people who aren’t just hard working, but those who are competent, skilled, and equipped to handle the rigors of the modern work environment.
And that’s just what a college education is about — not just helping you learn more about psychology or history or mathematics, or whatever program you choose, but being equipped and readied as a whole person.
That said, here are the “three C’s” for how a college education will help you establish foundational skills for a successful, healthy career.
In short, critical thinking is the ability to take information and knowledge and apply it.
Enhancing this skill lies in college-level coursework. Professor’s dole out large pieces of information (Don’t worry, it’s not overwhelming) and present it to students in a way that forces them to process it, and often, articulate it.
As companys’ technology allows them to downsize their staff, employers are hunting for candidates who can handle a wider and broader depth of work than ever before. You need to be open-minded, adaptable and teachable.
If you’re an undergraduate student, you’ll be taking a wide range of courses simultaneously. Rather than only becoming an expert in one field or discipline, a college education teaches you how to process lots of information, and in turn, demonstrate your knowledge of how that information applies to not only your discipline, but broader implications.
Ultimately, college helps you learn how to learn.
Comprehensive Communication Skills
Whether meeting with a professor, writing a paper, or chatting with members of your group project to assess who is pulling their weight and who how to fill in gaps, college students are afforded plenty of opportunities to learn how to effectively communicate.
But it’s about more than the soft skills.
Being able to gather information and share thoughts, goals, and objectives via written communication is also incredibly important in any workforce — a skill employers don’t just want but depend on their employees to be competent in.
Any degree path (specifically one in the humanities, i.e. English) will help you flex those writing muscles. Most classes involve papers, projects, exams, and a lot of research-oriented writing. You’ll have to dig for information, process it and then present it under your professor’s scruples. (Don’t worry; they’re here to help you be better.)
Aside from learning from your professors’ criticism, the ability to research and articulate your findings will serve you well in any field.
There’s a host of other things that necessitate good writing. For example, Regent University offers a writing lab to help students write better.
Just because you’re not pursuing a career in human relations doesn’t mean you won’t be involved in some sort of confrontation.
Remember the group project scenario? That sort of conflict isn’t limited to college. College, fortunately, provides you a corral in which to safely learn to handle it.
Though daunting, as with any acquired skill, the more you practice, the better you’ll get. Those same skills you use to have tough discussions with a roommate, classmate, or even a professor, will translate into a tangible ability to handle a host of challenging situations such as asking for a raise, meeting with supervisors about increasing or reducing your workload, or talking with team members about needs and objectives you feel aren’t being or need to be fulfilled.
This ability to create a workplace environment of healthy, open communication will serve you well whether in an entry-level job, or in management and leadership roles beyond.
is a degree Worth it?
Yes, you could jump into the workforce without a degree, and yes, you may do just fine. However, with the vital foundation of learning — not just about a field or discipline, but about yourself — college allows you to forge, you can truly learn to thrive.