College: 4 years of academic and inter-personal study that cannot be duplicated. There’s a lot that college can do for you. You learn about personal relationships, how to live on your own, how to manage your time, how to do 3 week’s worth of work in the 38 minutes you have before class. Life lessons, people. In short, there’s any number of reasons why a person would decide to go to college. But what is the main one? What justifies the thousands of dollars on tuition? How about the thousands more on books? Getting a job of course…right? New studies show that if career security is what you want, a Bachelor’s degree may not be the sensible path. Yet somehow, tuition continues to sky rocket.
Being born within the boundaries of the infamous 80’s, I grew up answering the question, “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” The assumption, of course, is that we would all one day have a career doing whatever it is we told our teacher we wanted to do. Police officer, astronaut, whatever. Dream jobs for all! As a young adult, I soon figured out my dreams of being Mel Gibson from Braveheart would most likely not come to fruition, so I picked something more “reasonable.” I wanted to be a writer, so naturally when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up by my adviser – rephrased as “What will you major in?” – I picked English.
The odds of getting a lucrative job related to the field of English with a mere Bachelor’s degree are comparable to winning the lottery whilst getting struck by two synchronized bolts of lightning. I knew this, but I rolled the dice, so maybe I have no right to complain. But I can’t help but ask why, if this is the case, I am still paying off tuition loans. Stock in Google is priced based on its intrinsic value as an investment. Shouldn’t college be the same? I won’t even mention the price of text books.
I reiterate, English majors are a bad example. We all know what we are getting into. But what about your Major? What ever it may be. A new study conducted at Harvard suggests that 2-year trade schools and vocational schools are actually better preparation for entry into the workforce. According to the report, by 2018, 14 million new job openings will be more available to graduates who attended 2-year schools, including registered nurses and electricians, rather than graduates of 4-year schools. Assuming you’re in a 4-year program, where does that leave you? Why are you or your parents paying thousands of dollars for a piece of paper that will do nothing to help you get a job? Shouldn’t an investment be worth its own weight?
Am I suggesting that you should drop out of school? No way. I wouldn’t trade the education I got for the world, even if I am piss poor and in mounds of debt. But colleges need your money to exist, and that gives you a vote. Be vocal about this. Get groups together, spread the word, and most of all, be active. If you’ve ever taken a history class, you know that a lot of pissed off people can make a big difference. In the past a college degree almost guaranteed you paid work, and this is why tuition is expected to be expensive. Times have changed though, and if you’re not going to be making shit loads of money, then colleges have no right to ask you for it. Be pissed about this, make a lot more people pissed about this, and maybe, just maybe, things can change.
*Study and Statistics courtesy of http://www.collegenews.com.