Is College for Everyone - Part 4
In today’s society, students are constantly being pushed to work towards a higher education - Is College for Everyone introduction. President Obama recently encouraged students to pursue at least one year of college after graduating high school. Our whole school system relies on previous education to get to the next. Each level of education has a purpose and that is to prepare them for the next level. After grade school comes middle school, after middle school comes high school, and after high school comes college, but what comes after college?
With the previous pattern, the next level after college would be a career, but is this necessarily true? Is this the only path students have? Many students end up attending a four-year college because they feel like they are suppose and this often results in students not having a proper career goal. When this happens, they often get confused and lost in all the academic chaos. Even when students do have a career goal, they are sometimes encouraged to go into colleges that do not fully provide the education they need for their specific career.
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Although attending a four-year college and obtaining a degree is desired by many, students should be encouraged to attend schools based on their career choices, not by society’s standards. Before students are encouraged to attend a four-year college, they should think about their educational goals and what they want to obtain from college. Many students today will end up attending a four-year college because of the expectations from today’s society. They will often times go to college not knowing what they want to out of it. Nemko) The only thing motivating students like these are the pressures from others. This can often make school stressful and not exciting for them. Many students who enter college unmotivated and unsure with their goals will often times end up dropping out of college.
According to the data from the U. S. Census Bureau revealed in 2000, one in three Americans drops out of college. This helps show that getting into college does not necessarily guarantee a college degree and that the problem lies within the student’s motivation to btaining a degree. If the student is not motivated from the beginning, they will not be motivated to get to the end and finishing school. If students are encouraged to attend a four-year college just for the mere benefit of obtaining a degree, they may not receive the results they were hoping for. Attending and obtaining a degree from a four-year college does not necessarily guarantee a job that derives enough benefit to justify the often high tuition rates and the numerous years it takes to graduate.
According to Nemko, the advantages a person with a college degree has ‘in the job market is eroding as employers send more professional jobs offshore and hire part-time workers. ” He also mentions how those who do graduate too rarely end up in careers that require a college education. What does this mean? The student may have wasted a good four to six years and is ultimately left with a mountain of debt. Needless to say, those who drop out early are also left with debt. Many would argue that people acquire debt for a number of other reasons, such as cars and houses, and that it’s not any different for school.
The reason why it is different is because when people go into debt for a car or a house, they receive the end product right away, whereas when a student goes through school obtaining a college degree, they may not receive the job they had hoped for or the income they had hoped for. For students who were motivated to begin with and knew what they wanted in the end, it may have been worth it to attend college, but for those who went solely because they were encouraged to do so may be disappointed in the end. The knowledge students acquire through a four-year degree may not be wholly beneficial for use at a new job.
Cookson mentions how “adding to the purely advanced load displaces more vocationally oriented subjects. ” There are many jobs that do not require workers to use the information they learned in college. For students who do not necessarily want a college degree, it may be better for them to put their time and effort into a job that could offer them real job experience rather than getting an education that may result in a waste of time and money. Nothing can prepare a student better than hands on training and experience.
By encouraging every student to attend a four- year college, we are creating a limited course that prevents students from making use of the resources and time they have to reach their highest potential. Instead of automatically encouraging students to attend a four-year college, we should take into account what career goals they have. Not all careers require a college degree. Just as Riddile states, “every student must be prepared for a variety of postsecondary experiences, which include two- and four-year colleges, and technical and career school. ” There is never only one right way for anyone.
A four-year college should not be the only option students have. The linear path that’s given to college students by all standard colleges is not currently set up in a way that allows all students to succeed and to acquire all of the necessary skills for their career choices. If it would seem that some students may benefit more from on-hands training and interactive experience within the workplace as opposed to the standard college setting; shouldn’t the colleges be adhering to each individual students future and present skill-set that prepares them for their career goals?
In today’s society, many people are quick to encourage students to attend a four-year college. What they need to understand is that not all students will benefit from a four-year college. Instead of offering students just one pathway to success, we should be offering them several pathways. If students are limited to just one answer, not all students will succeed and this will result in a complete waste of time, money, and resources.
Students may end up dropping out of school with massive debt or may wind up at a job that is completely unrelated to their college degree. Rather then encourage a four-year college off the bat, we should be taking into account what career a student has in mind and also the skills they want to acquire. There are many other options for students after high school, such as a two-year college, vocational school, tech schools, or even going straight into the job field. We should encourage students to attend the school that best fits their career school.