After I graduated from high school I wasn’t given the option of not going to college. My parents told me that earning a college degree was a necessity in order for me to have a successful future. Now after finishing college and grad school I beg to differ. I believe that a college degree does make a person more competitive in the job market but when you end up graduating with more student loan debt than you make as an annual salary, a college degree isn’t all that helpful.
With a slow economy and a lack of jobs many young adults are starting to ask themselves is a college degree really worth obtaining. Like I always do when getting feedback for my blog topics I hit up some of my friends on social media and got their opinions on the issue. I asked the question “Was getting a college degree worth the time and money?” and these are a few of the responses that I received.
I do believe my degree in broadcast helped me get my foot in the door, but once I got in it was all about learning to do things their way. Very little of what I learned in college translated to my job now. As for whether or not it was worth it…I can honestly say I like my job, but I do have loans out the ass that I will be paying back forever. I made the conscious decision in college to do something I would enjoy rather than something that made a lot of money…so mission accomplished I guess. But there are people working in TV without degrees that are doing just fine, so I do wonder was it even necessary.
“If I only knew then, what I know now. I am too glad that I have a degree, not even for a job, but for me. Although it has not been a job gainer, it has been a job keeper. Having worked a little in HR, I know that I sought others who were educated because it meant that they could be dedicated. It is not truly about the degree I feel though; it is about what and who you seek. Success is a journey and trust that I know people with degrees, who are just as well off as if they never went to college. So I say, get a degree ‘cause it can never hurt, but take the journey, complete the cycle; it only just begins after graduation. “
“At a young age, I noticed there’s a bias against hiring black men whether they had the proper qualifications or not. So I knew in order to have a decent chance of living a life of financial stability, I had to start and build my own business. Before starting my business, I was working in retail. There are very few black male managers in the industry but the ones that did make it up the ranks and make a good salary, they’re working on their feet every weekend, every holiday, and over fifty hours a week. That life seemed like a dead end to me. I had nothing to lose, so I took a chance. I only have a high school diploma, and I have independently published three books, started a photography business, and a magazine which I’ve had successfully for three years.”
One day I was looking at videos on YouTube and I came across a spoken word poet named Suli Breaks. I watched a video of him performing a poem called “Why I Hate School But Love Education” and it profoundly changed my views on the importance of higher education. One line from the poem that really stood out to me was this, “If you don’t build your dreams someone else will hire you to help build theirs.” This statement really stuck in my head; I thought to myself why invest so much time and money in school and still end up working for someone else at a job that you really don’t even enjoy that much.
I’m currently in the process of starting my own business because I want my independence from corporate America, and because I want to get out of debt. My goal in the next few years is to become financially stable and until that happens marriage, kids, and buying a home will definitely have to take a backseat in my life. I believe being college educated has provided me with the tools to become a successful business owner, but on the other hand I could have easily started a business without even having a degree. I know plenty of people who have done just that.
So back to the question at hand, Is the Tassel Worth the Hassle? I guess that depends on the person, the situation, and what a person wants out of life. A college education can provide a person with valuable information that can definitely help him/her to become successful in life, but on the other hand a person can become just as successful without going to college. I’m not trying to tell people don’t go to college but rather to explore other options to success before investing so much time and money into an institution that really won’t guarantee a job or a decent paying salary after graduating.
This article was also featured in Inspire Magazine.