Point: Is the Pursuit of a College Degree Necessary for Success?

Mina Orlic, Editor-in-Chief

    College. One word that holds so much worth, that can make or break your future. In the past decade or so, the topic of college has become incredibly controversial — to go or not to go. But the answer is simple: go. Nowadays, you need college to be successful later on in life.

   It’s an age-old concept: human creates robot, robot takes over world. While it used to just be a frightening plot to a movie, it’s slowly becoming reality. As technology continues to dramatically alter our world, society is becoming more and more mechanized. As a result, it’s becoming harder and harder to acquire good, steady jobs. According to an article in The Atlantic, “In 2013, Oxford University researchers forecast that machines might be able to perform half of all US jobs in the next two decades” (theatlantic.com). With demand for technology so high, jobs open up for those who went to college for electrical, mechanical, computer, material, aeronautical, or artificial intelligence engineering. People with STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] majors will earn more money, find jobs more quickly, and experience greater job stability than those who didn’t go to college. As Junior Karim Ghabra started, “Would you rather be replaced by a robot or be the guy that invents the replacement?”

   Arguably one of the most important aspects of college is the social and networking experience. Not only are you studying something that you’re (hopefully) passionate about, you’re surrounded by others who share the same common interests. By talking to professors, other students, and alumni, you create contacts with people in the same field that can help you later on in life. College networking is not something to underestimate. According to JobVite’s 2018 Job Seeker Nation Study, 35 percent of professionals say they secured their current or most recent job through a professional connection and 60 percent of survey respondents say they’ve referred a friend or contact to a company (topresume.com). Even if your networking doesn’t land you a job in the future, often you gain valuable advice from someone more successful or more experienced than yourself.

   Though some may argue that success is subjective, many will agree that humans most often view money, and the ability to provide for your family, as success. “The Value of a Common Degree,” a research paper written by Labor Economist and Research Professor Stephen Rose, states, “…on average, those with baccalaureates [bachelor degrees] have lower unemployment rates, are much more apt to be in managerial and professional jobs, and earn significantly more than those with less education… even in low-paying fields, the earnings of those with a baccalaureate are higher than those of most people who have two-year degrees or certificates” (cew.georgetown.edu). Additionally, a college degree provides a step up in getting the job you want. It’s a check-mark in most job requirements, as many jobs require you to have a specific degree.

     Ultimately, college is a major stepping stone to success. Not only does it provide you with connections to further your career, but it also gives you the means for financial and job security — two things that are vital in today’s world.