Regardless of which stage of life you’re in, determining whether college is the right decision for you can be overwhelming. When you consider the time and money involved to earn a degree, it can feel like a life-altering decision.
Attending college may not seem like the obvious next step to you but gaining some education after high school can only be a good thing. Besides, the “college experience” is one of the reasons to go to college.
So, Should You Go to College?
Overwhelming statistics reveal that attending college is important. For instance, a 2018 study revealed that 75% of hiring managers and 82% of executives have asserted that college education is crucial.
If you’re still undecided about higher education, this article will help you explore the reasons to go to college while also offering insights into why some individuals opt to forego higher education after high school.
Top 12 Reasons to Go to College
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
#1. Expand Potential Earnings
Studies reveal that college grads have a higher likelihood of gaining financial stability after graduation. According to a 2019 report on the benefits of higher education, people with a higher education secure higher earnings, pay higher taxes, and have a higher likelihood of securing employment.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also conducted a study in 2019 that revealed that the weekly income of people with a Bachelor’s degree was nearly 1.5 times higher than that of associate degree holders.
#2. Obtain New Skills
Don’t be afraid of enrolling in new classes. You might just enhance your skills while also boosting your confidence. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to enroll in a class that’s relevant to your major.
For instance, you might be a communication major but with a keen interest in computer science. In this case, a computer class will add value and reinforce your passion.
You could even take a speech class if you want to get over the fear of public speaking. The best thing about college is that you can take a class just because it sounds fun. Keep in mind that the whole point of going to college is to grow professionally as well as personally.
#3. Come Out of Your Shell
The college acts as a bridge between childhood and adulthood. The transition is especially important because it gives you a chance to reflect on you who were in high school and who you want to become in your adulthood.
Perhaps it’s an opportunity to become an extrovert and develop an outgoing personality if you were more withdrawn in high school. It’s also an opportunity to try new things, overcome fears, and do things you always dreamt of doing in your younger years, such as doing public speaking or trying out your acting skills in theater.
#4. Forge Valuable Networks and Connections
Attending college allows you to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and interests, thus helping you broaden your horizons as well as connecting you with people from your potential career field.
Forging the right connections can be a significant advantage in life. After all, there’s no telling who will help you land your ideal job or introduce you to the right people. You can expand your college network in various ways, such as through sports, enrolling in clubs that align with your interests, or volunteering.
You can even do a part-time job or an internship off or on-campus. Learning from an established person is another way to forge connections in your desired career field.
#5. Find Direction in Life
Like most people, you might not have a clue about what you want to become after graduating from high school. The good thing about college is that you have a lot of time to think about what you want to become before declaring your major. This means you have at least two years to complete general courses while exploring various majors.
So, if you’re thinking of pursuing a career in psychology, you might want to take some classes to see whether that field suits your temperament.
Some professors might even permit you to audit a course to determine whether you’ll find that major enjoyable. Just note that you won’t earn any credit or a grade for course auditing; it’s simply for academic exploration.
You might even decide to take a community college course while in high school. This will allow you to evaluate your interest in a particular field.
#6. Explore More Employment Opportunities
You’ve probably noticed how numerous job postings specify a college degree requirement just to secure an interview. This is because employers recognize that a college education helps individuals develop analytical thinking, the ability to understand intricate subjects, and enhanced communication.
Regardless of the subject you major in in college, employers tend to be assured that you’ll pick up organization skills, self-discipline, and the capacity to follow through on significant tasks.
Most people pursuing a degree often anticipate promising employment prospects upon graduation. The good news is that numerous recruiters seek candidates with higher education. That means, most economies have shifted from being manufacturing-based to knowledge-based, making college education particularly crucial these days.
#7. Enjoy a Healthier and Contented Life
A higher education level ultimately translates into the possibility of a higher salary, better job, and enhanced health benefits.
A study conducted by the Brookings Institution revealed that an extra college year reduces mortality rates by 15-19% by decreasing deaths from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
This is because college-educated people are more likely to be able to see a doctor regularly and have a reduced likelihood of smoking. Their BMI is also lower as they consume a healthier diet.
On the same note, college degree holders report higher satisfaction with their jobs and report more interesting and satisfying work. All these factors contribute to a healthy professional and personal life.
#8. Professional Advancement
Whether you’re discontented with your job or want a higher pay grade, going back to college can help you get an advantage in the professional world. Unsurprisingly, career improvement is a driving force for securing a degree since nobody wants to earn an entry-level income after spending 10 or so years at the same job.
#9. Direction Change
Occasionally, life throws a curveball and overturns the stability you’ve struggled to acquire. The loss of a loved one, employment, an empty nest, or hitting a particular age are some of the reasons that have driven most people to pursue higher education later in life.
It’s also apparent that changing professions later in life isn’t all that uncommon these days. It has, in fact, become the norm today.
Whether its lawyers pursuing an art degree to become designers or welders pursuing engineering, across the spectrum, you’ll find people who aren’t satisfied with their current jobs taking the leap to secure the necessary education to accommodate their change of direction in life.
If it’s your first time living away from home, it can be an intimidating experience. However, you also get the chance to join clubs and forge new friendships with comparable interests. Getting involved in different activities can boost your confidence while instilling significant teamwork and leadership skills.
If you’re keen on politics, you could join the student government. You’ll discover that college goes beyond a degree; it offers endless ways to broaden your horizons.
#11. Establish Skills for a Second Career
For some people, retirement can pose financial challenges. Although it’s a relief to take a break from the responsibilities of a tiresome profession, the reality is that surviving on a fixed salary may be more taxing than you first thought.
Some seniors view the opportunity to go back to school as a chance to seek a second profession in a new occupation that interests them. It provides a fresh start; one they couldn’t exploit previously.
#12. Set an Example
Numerous people who raise children discover how difficult it can be to inspire sincerity towards education in the next generation when you haven’t set an example yourself. Accomplishing what you began in college or high school is an excellent way to demonstrate the importance of education.
This is also true for first-generation college grads who wish to motivate family members to return to school.
Why One Would Choose to Not Go to College
It’s always presumed that a college education is the best route to a rewarding and lucrative career, and there’s no doubt that it’s beneficial in most instances. Nevertheless, some drawbacks exist.
Regardless of the benefits associated with going to college, it’s no secret that a college education can be substantially expensive. Is it any surprise then that many individuals end up with considerable debt, only to discover their degree doesn’t guarantee a lucrative profession?
These institutions adopt a somewhat standard education structure that doesn’t suit everyone. For instance, individuals with dyslexia frequently struggle with conventional educational methods and require alternative settings or techniques to thrive in their education.
Reasons to Go to Community College/Public Schools
Image source: Pinterest
The conventional four-year college experience isn’t for everybody. Some students are uncertain about what they want to study, while others seek a more affordable education.
Several students study for two years before they transfer to a four-year college, ensuring considerable savings on the tuition. If you’re thinking about enrolling in a community college, here’s a list of reasons to encourage you.
Attending community college can offer a good way for you to ease into higher education and study at your own pace. This is particularly true if you found yourself struggling in high school or you’re uncertain about whether you wish to invest considerable money and time in college.
Many community colleges offer smaller classes than bigger schools. This means that students can enjoy more personalized attention along with one-on-one time with lecturers. This can be advantageous if you want to learn at your own pace and need more guidance with your studies.
Reasons to Go to Private Schools
Private colleges offer unique experiences in various ways, ranging from academic standards to the curriculum and mission statements. Here’s a list of reasons to go to college in a private institution.
Trinity School, New York City Image source: Pinterest
These institutions place more emphasis on learning than the curriculum. Furthermore, they also tend to have a rigorous curriculum and extensive coursework.
So, if you intend to work during school, you’ll find it difficult to balance a full-time schedule with work at a private institution. But with the high time commitment needed to thrive in each class, private colleges will push you to give your best.
The student community is an essential aspect of private colleges. This can be tough for autonomous students who favor a less hands-on approach.
The students have close communication with instructors, both in and out of class, and the campus activities tend to be very inclusive. Such participation in the student community can only enhance a private college experience.
Reasons to Go to Out-of-State Colleges
It’s not surprising that while parents prefer their high school graduate children to attend in-state colleges, students often seek an out-of-state experience. Those considering out-of-state education find that experience alluring, particularly if their preferred choice is associated with prestige.
Before limiting your perspective to in-state colleges, consider these possible advantages of studying out of state.
Attending an institution that’s far from home will need you to develop greater autonomy, self-reliance, and life skills. If you’re responsible for recalling schedules, scheduling, and keeping appointments, paying bills, etc., all by yourself, you’re bound to become prepared for more confident adulthood.
During economic hardships, some higher learning institutions are having a hard time keeping up with enrollment and might be providing more scholarship prospects to out-of-state students. For example, some states issue scholarships to students pursuing programs that are unavailable in their home state.
Some institutions even consider all out-of-state freshmen for scholarships, making this among the lucrative reasons to go to college out of state if you have financial constraints.
A college education undeniably offers several benefits, but there are also some drawbacks that one must consider. Given the obvious advantages of education, you don’t need reasons to go to college.
Whether or not you decide to attend college will depend on various factors, and it’s a decision that must not be rushed. So, take your time because this might just be one of the most significant decisions you will ever make.