Your whole life, adults ask you what you want to be when you grow up. Children play dress up at kindergarten based on nurse, police officer and firefighter. You can’t get away from it – from the age of seven through to eighteen, you’re expected to make choices that push you toward the career you could have your whole life. It’s scary to think ahead that far when all you want to do is hang out with your friends and get through the next set of homework your teacher has set you. Unfortunately, life does move forward at a rapid pace. Those summer breaks may feel like they last forever when you’re a teenager, but really, it’s moving fast and so big decisions must be made.
One day you must ask for a bathroom pass and the next you’re putting in college applications; it’s a big leap. It’s important to know as early as possible whether you plan to continue your education and go into a degree once high school is over. This is because the choices you make for the subjects you study in high school will influence the type of degree and subsequent career you plan to have. For some career paths, no degree equals no career so it’s a tough choice! Sometimes, TV shows like these can influence your decision on what you want to be when you get to eighteen and are putting in those college applications. Understanding what a degree can mean for your future is the best way to ensure that you are making the right choice and exploring what a college degree can give you is a smart decision. Getting a degree at the same time as your friends tends to be a rite of passage for most high school students – it’s a coming of age situation where you blossom from child to young adult.
A lot of employers expect to see a college degree when they’re hiring you and it’s a sad fact of life because a lot of families are unable to afford a college degree. On the other hand, you may not need a college education for the career that you want. The ways that people go into the working world range from taking the time to get a degree, to working from the ground up in a company. A strong work ethic is usually required if you plan to work from junior to senior level in a company and there are plenty of businesses out there that like to offer a stepping stone from intern level. Some people do question what a college education can do for them and whether they are worth the money. Others hear the word ‘college’ and think about the student loan debt that comes with it. It’s a huge decision and with that, we have put together for you some great reasons you should go ahead with a college education.
- Cash. Everyone loves cash. Most of us plan our futures based on earning potential and with the costs of living rising year on year, your future should be secured as early as possible. College can be an expensive prospect and of course, you can consider scholarships like these, but you may find the student debt worth having if you have the long-term benefits of the extra money in your salary. You have the option of working as you study, but for a lot of college students this can be a drag when you’re studying and want a social life. Needs must though and the most ambitious people are the ones who rise to the top. Cash may be a great incentive to studying in higher education, but the student loan that comes with it can be crippling. If you’re lucky enough to have won a scholarship, you won’t be as worried about the loans afterward, but not everyone is so fortunate.
- As a college graduate, your prospects are far higher than someone who hasn’t achieved a degree. You can absolutely start working for a company and work your way up as we mentioned earlier, but high-level jobs usually want you to have an associate’s degree at the very minimum. You could have all the experience required for a job, but that piece of paper that says you are qualified does matter. Improving your prospects for achieving high level jobs is going to improve your salary so that piece of paper can really matter. Companies like 360 Healthcare Staffing has more options for roles that are high-level, a lot of which require the people they interview to have a degree under their belt to be an asset to a company. Some roles out there don’t require you to have a college education but if you want to rise to the big leagues, a college degree you must get.
- Studying for a degree can help you to learn valuable skills. You will get out of college exactly what you put in and if you are ambitious and tenacious enough to choose to work while you study, you will gain so much from your time there. It’s not all about the parties, it’s about attending class regularly and choosing the classes that are going to challenge you and help you develop what you need for your future career. If you can, grab an internship with two hands and hold onto it. An internship – especially in the field you are interested in – can allow you to meet people in the career you’d like to be in. You can also gain valuable technical skills and it’ll also tell you if the major you chose was right for you.
- College can allow you to really develop yourself as an adult. You are in situations where you can make your own decisions, without your parents holding your hand to do so. You’re obviously not paying out thousands of dollars just for an experience, but you should know that the experiences that college will bring you are worth every cent. You’ll interact with people you don’t usually meet in your day to day life at home and this will set you up perfectly for life outside of a school environment. College teaches you an independence you won’t find elsewhere.
- If you are someone who wants to have a say in your own life, then college will be somewhere that is for you. Exploring who you are as a person happens when you move out of your parent’s home and onto a campus. You’ll understand how to manage money, read a lease and your education in a major you have chosen for yourself can be very empowering.
- Something that all college graduates discover is how marketable they are. You could have the best resume in a pool of candidates but sometimes it can take having that college degree written down to cinch a job you really want! The doors you will be able to swing open for yourself can give you more opportunities with people in your field to help you step up to the top; which is the goal of most graduates.
If you are the first person in your family to consider a degree, you will be able to unlock pride you never knew you could feel. Your whole future is decided at a young age and you could get through an entire degree only to work somewhere else, in a field you may not have considered. This happens sometimes, as you can spend four years or more learning a subject and specialising in a field that you want to work in, only to discover it’s really not for you once you graduate. The bonus? You could move out of your field of work but that college education will always be on your resume. You could swap industries completely, but the skills you have acquired during your time at college will always be transferable.
Thinking about the future may feel overwhelming and something that seems lightyears away, but it isn’t and the sooner you are okay with the way the world moves quickly the sooner you can make bold decisions about your life that no one else can have a say in. Ask for advice from as many angles as you have in your life: parents, siblings, mentors and friends can all advise you. Ultimately, you need to be the master of your own future and taking the reins of your life into both hands and steering it forward in a way you want it to go is the key.
Whether you are ready to embark on your college applications or you have a few years yet, don’t be afraid of what’s to come. College is one adventure you won’t want to miss out on and it can map out the person you grow into.