Is college worth it? Do you really need a degree to secure a job? Does it give you respect when you are among others?
It is believed that the next generation will be better with the previous one. With our generation, we were told that college is the only way towards success. However, with the current times we are in, it’s hard to believe that it still holds true. Millennials are the most educated generation in history. However, a lot of us are in crippling debt that from the loans we unknowingly signed up for at 18. More than 50% of us still live with our parents after college. With many of our educated friends and colleagues still in low-paying menial jobs, with many of us not in fields that we majored in, and with the ever rising cost of tuition it makes you wonder, “is college worth it or is it a scam?” Let us dive in, to see why that may so many of us believe college education isn’t worth it anymore.
Is your major marketable?
In the job market, you need applicable skills. Many of us majored in degrees that, aren’t marketable. Hence why you see so many college educated people working in careers that had nothing to do with their major. So if you’re degree is not in science, business, law or education, then you might want to reconsider going to college.
It’s not about what you know, it’s who you know:
One thing that makes a person successful in life is the connections they have. Even though college.Even though Affirmative action was passed in 1965 so that white women and other minorities have the right to go to college. The process to get into college, is still unfair. For example, if a kid from a lower income neighborhood and a kid from upper class neighborhood can have the same stats, academically and applied to Princeton. Princeton will more likely accept the kid from the upper class neighborhood. Why? Because the kid may have more connections to Princeton than the kid from the lower income neighborhood. He could have parents or grandparents that were went to Princeton and got in because of his legacy status. Their parents may have donated money a lot of money to Princeton which secured his spot. Many children who come from well-to-do families have this advantage over poor children. One real life example of this is Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law who got into Harvard with a 2.5gpa and mediocre SAT scores. However, his father pledged 2.5 million dollars to the school right before Jared kushner was admitted.
Ableism and classism:
College is a class-gateway. It is also going to be difficult if you have a learning disorder or you’re neurodivergent. Most people dropout of college due to financial inability. Hence why the more prestigious universities and colleges are more inclined to accept those in from middle class to upper middle class backgrounds. Besides financial reasons many students come from high schools that were poorly funded. Besides subjects like math and science, Some schools don’t even have art programs. Most didn’t have after school programs to go to. Because the schools don’t offer AP or IB programs. So when they go to college they are already at a disadvantage. I for one, have a learning disorder. It hard for me to concentrate. Plus math is hard for me and no I do not mean it generically. Anything above fifth grade math is hard for me to do. And doing it without a calculator is even harder. Most remedial math classes in college forbid you from using a calculator. This was difficult, since I’ve used a calculator from the 6th grade up to high school. However this problem started in the school district that I came from that doesn’t push kids who aren’t honors students or athletes not the colleges I attended.
Degrees don’t mean job security.
I have a BA in Communications with a concentration in media production. And one thing I often joke about when people ask me what my degree is all about. I typically say, “Oh I just spent 4.5 years and a lot of money to learn how to hold a camera.” And that’s basically it. When I use to hang with my art and music friends, most of them had aspired to be famous. However you don’t need a degree for that. Most of our favorite musicians, actors, and artist didn’t need college for that it was just their god-given talent that made them who they are. Not only that but I remember watching YouTube videos and realizing that most of these content creators didn’t go to school to hold a camera. They just learn it online.
It’s a business:
When one thinks of college they don’t think of it as a business. However like business, regardless of whether you go to small liberal arts college in the northeast or a state college out west, all colleges share have one thing in common, a Corporate business structure. A typical college in America has a president (CEO) however college has different schools (departments) with in their campuses. Their students are customers. They get people with no credit history to unknowingly take out loans they may never pay back that’s how they make their money.
My final opinion:
Is college worth it? Yes. Is it a scam? Not 100% percent.
Let’s face it. In this world, regardless of where you go you can not go without some sort of qualification. On average the more educated you are the more money you make. I knew someone who use to gloat about how he made 50k a year and didn’t go to college. However, it took him longer to make that amount and had to various jobs before landing a job as a security officer for a retail company. Even though, he makes 50k he actually works more than 50+ hours to make just as much as someone who makes that in half the time or less. Although people say you can just “learn it online”, I wouldn’t trust someone with no medical degree or license to perform surgery on me because they watched a video tutorial on it. That’s why it’s not fully a scam because we need lawyers, we need doctors, we need educators, we need engineers. We can’t rely on YouTube videos or online articles.
My college career wasn’t an easy one. I went through periods of depression, I’ve taken semesters off and I went to three different colleges. I use to feel as if I was wasting my life going to college. Especially when you look at people who didn’t go to college who are thriving while you’re struggling to make money. Sometimes, I even wanted to dropout. However, looking back now that I’m in my late 20s, those same people who I believed were thriving, had to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet. And while some might use Bill gates in this argument, it is not true for all college dropouts or most who didn’t pursue college.
It also feels good to say that I am a college graduate. Not only for the status but to finally hold myself up in a society that wanted to see me fail.