In an ideal world, everyone would be able to get a full, interesting, stimulating secular education before even having to think about how to be employable.
Unfortunately, for a generation growing up to face a competitive job market and a bad economy, going to college isn’t about exploring ideas or learning to think for one’s self.
College, now, has one objective: getting it done and getting a job.
While the value of a college experience on one’s growth as a person is immeasurable, and I wish that could be it’s primary purpose, the reality is that most of us must choose the most efficient path to ensure we don’t get left behind in the working world.
If the decision of how to build your résumé has you picking between investing your youth in getting an education or in getting some work experience, you have some heavy pro/con weighing to do.
You might be wondering, are there still a few redeeming employment-oriented qualities to choosing four years of education over four of corporate ladder climbing?
The truth is that if Joe Shmoe applies himself, a well-rounded education can give him the set of reasoning and critical thinking skills necessary to be both adaptable and desirable in a variety of fields.
Many jobs require learning experience that can only be done in a classroom: many jobs requiring scientific, mathematical, social study or advanced language abilities will immediately discredit a candidate who does not have a degree in an applicable area. Choosing not to pursue a degree in favor of getting of getting a good job may cut you off from certain future career paths.
A smart employer (the only kind you’d want to have) would know that a college-graduated candidate is an asset to their company because he/she has had the opportunity to develop a varied knowledge set, and has likely been forced to reason through and learn about a broad spectrum of different cultures, ideologies, natural laws, philosophies and sciences.
College is hard work, and getting through it successfully shows dedication and usually a great deal of resourcefulness.
If you have already had the challenging and opening experience of attending a four-year college, you will be more likely to be confidant in yourself and in your decisions, and thus perform assertively and creatively in your job.
If you have the launch pad a degree provides, you will have the security of never having to ‘start over’ if you lose that job position you worked four years in that company to get.