The debate on whether college is worth the cost is becoming common in most homes and government offices. The cause why many people claim that college is no longer worth the cost is due to the massive quantity of loans that students are forced to get for their higher training support. According to Braxton et al. the student debt in U.S. has grown to approximately over $ 1.2 trillion (75). The tuition rate in most campuses has also increased. This makes many students opt for neighborhood colleges which are a bit cheaper. Some people support university education while others do not. Despite the high costs, College schooling is still worth the expenses due to the fact of increased intellectual capacity, more jobs require college graduates, college graduates make more money, and college education offers benefits to an individual, his family, and the society.
There are many values associated with the obtaining of a college education. First, college education leads to increased intellectual capacity. According to Pascarella and Terenzini, college education changes the perspective in which one views life (45). College life brings along exposure, which increases the general knowledge of the students and the perspective in which they view life changes. It is a time whereby the students are stimulated towards strategic, critical, and creative thinking. This plays a great role in increasing the intellectual knowledge of the students.
College education lays the foundation of the necessary skills that are required by employers. This gives the graduates a chance to earn money and support a good living standard. Without a college education, most professionals who support the economy would not exist. The knowledge that is required to run a law firm, become a health practitioner, teach, among others can only be acquired through a college education. Higher skills are rewarded with higher pays. Therefore the more knowledge one acquires, the higher the income it attracts. Accordin to Jenna, statistics have shown that an average degree holder in America earns about $30,000 annually, while a Master’s Degree holder earns about $50,000 annually and a Doctorate holder earns about $70,000 annually. This makes college a source of the skills that people need for high income.
College offers individuals a chance to be of great benefit to their families and the society as a whole, both financially and intellectually. They help in meeting money-related needs that are losses to them and also intellectually through the solution to problems that require intellectual knowledge (Pascarella and Terenzini, 45). Through college education, students get a chance to build their careers. Moreover, Eyler and Giles Jr affirms that the fact that college gives people the opportunity for further studies in a field of their choice gives them an opportunity to broaden the range of their skills, hence, qualifying for better jobs (34). Most college students end up working in the field of their specialization. This provides them with enormous chances of growth
According to Smith, college education is an investment into one’s future. Whenever a person decides to go through college education, he or she must be aware of the fact that it is a commitment which involves both time and money. Time, money, and efforts invested in the higher education can be considered as a long-term investment, which will yield benefits for a lifetime (44). It is therefore an investment that yields significant benefits to both employees and employers, for instance, the fact that it leads to job satisfaction and job security through better employment placement. This investment makes the society to place more value on people who have gone through college education. In most cases, whenever companies are not doing well in production, they tend to retrench the people whose skills can be replaced by other competent parties. Relevant skills can only be acquired through a college education (Cohen and Brawer 45). It is worth noting that most organizations recognize the need for a college education to the extent that they invest in their employees’ advanced education. Most companies incur the expense of paying for the higher education of their top management since they have discovered the benefits that will be brought about by doing so.
College education is a public good which benefits the whole country. The more educated a country’s population is, the more developed it is (Cohen and Braver 45). Most developing countries are characterized by higher levels of illiteracy when compared with developing countries. The higher the level of education that a population has, the more innovative and creative it becomes. Discoveries are made through the increase in intellectual capacity that is as a result of a college education. Technology drives an ongoing demand for better-educated workers. The development of technology has led to the request of a skill-biased workforce. Only through college education, a person has the capacity to be able to comprehend the analysis that computers do and be able to apply them accordingly. Strategic decisions that are based on analytical facts are more accurate than the ones made out of ignorance. The only way in which strategic decisions can be well made is through acquiring a higher education that matches the level of technological development that is being witnessed in today’s society (Smith 44). The wage data shows that employers prefer hiring workers who have postsecondary education for the more complex positions. These are positions that require strategic thinking, creativity, and management. The performance of such tasks requires more training and education, which can only be achieved through a college education.
Statistics have proved that people rarely leave because they have the best working conditions and benefits. College education, therefore, instills job loyalty into employees. Employers prefer workers who are more reliable and who can commit their services to the organizations for a long period (Smith 44). Through the better pay and working conditions that characterize jobs that require a college education, graduates make the best employees.
Regardless of media reports about the cost of education, it should be noted that these stories tend to follow the business cycles. In most cases, when business is down journalists find it easy to write stories on how a college education isn’t worth the costs. This is because, during the recession, the middle class tends to worry about whether they will be able to provide for their children’s college education. They, therefore, tend to easily believe the idea, which in most cases the reverse after recession period. This should not be the case since the journalists who speak against college education went through college education for them to be able to perform their tasks.
At this juncture there is a need to point out a counter claim as to the value of a college degree. Most people whose arguments are against college education claim that the student’s debts that graduates have robbed them of the chance to advance financially after campus. The debt load increases when one fails to get a job. The fact remains that not everyone who goes through college education secures a job after college (Braxton et al. 75). Therefore, their life becomes worse financially when compared with the life of the secondary leavers who ventured into business and failed to join colleges.
In conclusion, having considered the value of college education and the claims against it; this study concludes that college education is worth the cost. This is because most graduates benefit financially from the skills they acquire in college. They are therefore able to pay back their debts, though in large amounts, due to the high wages that their skills attract. The world needs professionals and not ignorant people.
Braxton, John M., Amy S. Hirschy, and Shederick A. McClendon. Understanding and Reducing College Student Departure: ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report. Volume 30, Number 3. Vol. 16. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
Cohen, Arthur M., and Florence B. Brawer. The American Community College. John Wiley & Sons, 2003.
Eyler, Janet, and Dwight E. Giles Jr. Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning? Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1999.
Lyons, Jenna. “College Grads Earn $800,000 More than Those with Only a High School Diploma, Study Finds.” USA Today College, 2017, http://college.usatoday.com/2014/05/19/college-grads-earn-800000-more-study-finds/. Accessed 26 Sept. 2017.
Pascarella, Ernest T., and Patrick T. Terenzini. How College Affects Students (vol. 2). Jossey-Bass, 2005.
Smith, Rodney K. “Column: Yes, a College Education Is Worth the Costs”. USA Today, 2011. http://www.thebuddhasaidiamawake.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/USA-Today-Yes-its-worth-the-costs.pdf. Accessed 26 Sept. 2017.