General Question

Scarlett's avatar

Reasons to Go or Not To go to COLLEGE ?

Asked by Scarlett (915points) July 12th, 2010


I just want to know the reasons why people go to College… Or why some people say going to College is a waste of time…. Or how important it is going to College…..REALLY ??

They say college graduates earn money…..but there are people, and even FORBES said going to College is a waste of TIME and MONEY….lots and lots of money…............Unless you got a Scholarship or something.

So I would just like to know everyone’s opinions, since I’m contemplating on going… Thanks

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49 Answers

missingbite's avatar

@Scarlett Going to college is important to some people. It will have to be a decision you have to make. Ask yourself what kind of student your were in high school. What do you want to do in life as an adult? I assume you are young and believe it or not you have plenty of time if you are. Join the military and then go to college. Tour Europe for a couple of years first. You may want to look at a trade which won’t require college. I have a good friend that is a hair dresser and makes great money. She owns her own salon so she is her own boss. Never went to college. College is not the end all for all people regardless of what some people will tell you.

lillycoyote's avatar

It really depends on what you want to do. For certain careers going to college and grad school, getting a Ph.D or advanced degree is an absolute necessity. Obviously you can’t be a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, if you don’t go to college but it’s not for everyone, nor is it necessary for everyone.

Seaofclouds's avatar

It depends on what you want to do from this point on. There are some professions that are based more on your talent than your schooling (art, music, film, etc). Then there are some professions that you only need to be certified in. Those you can usually participate in a technical course of some kind to get the certification (some automotive certifications, some computer certifications, medical assistants, nursing assistants, etc). Then there are professions you won’t get into without some level of a degree (nursing, doctors, dentists, radiology technicians, teachers, etc).

If you don’t know what you want to do yet it’s a bit harder to make a decision. I agree that going to college just to go with no real purpose in mind can be a waste of money, but if you have a goal in mind, it can be very worth it.

In addition to scholarships, there is other financial aid available as well (such as grants, student loans, etc). Some states have loan forgiveness programs if you get a job in a certain field at a certain place for a certain number of years.

I joined the Army right out of high school. I started college when I was 22. At that point, I knew exactly what I wanted to go to school for. I started out at a community college to get my Associates Degree and then moved on to a University for my Bachelor’s degree.

Scarlett's avatar

I’m not sure.

I always felt ahead from Highschool. I took the time out of myself to read and research things OUTSIDE of highschool, because I do sincerely enjoy learning, and knowledge—but I didn’t like Highschool because I felt what they were teaching was so….Mundane.

I guess it would depend on someone’s career choice right ??

Me, I would like to do Humanitarian things. I’m interested in helping people, almost like a therapist, but I would like to get involved globally as well…. United Nations maybe ??

Not sure if there is schooling for this….............hence, get a “HUMANITARIAN DEGREE?”

Scarlett's avatar

So, a career helping people (((Soo BROAD I KNOW ))), mixed in with Government…let’s say like HUMAN RIGHTS ???

Scarlett's avatar

I want to travel, help peple, and I know there could be situations where students get to travel and work ABROAD ?

janbb's avatar

Studying political science, foreign languages, international relations, health sciences or psychology could all perhaps help you achieve that goal.

Scarlett's avatar

In my old posts, I was thinking of getting into the military, because I feel a little Lost in Life right now, plus no money. So if I go into the military, they will pay for all that, plus I get direction and stability in my life .

How about getting a scholarship? Or a Grant? What is the difference?

Seaofclouds's avatar

You could also look into the Peace Corps. You could start out volunteering to get an idea of what you like. Then by networking and talking to people there, they could give you a better idea of the best way to pursue your education.

Scarlett's avatar

@janbb – Thank you :) Those sound like interesting subjects, I’ll look into them.

Scarlett's avatar

@Seaofclouds – I looked into them, and they require a Bachelors degree now. Don’t have that. When I was in highschool I never even thought about College to be honest with you. All of the things that I’ve done, let’s say like Art of Photography, I never did school for. Everything I’ve done, I’ve learned on my own, either by researching or life experience.

cockswain's avatar

I recommend going and at least getting a bachelor’s degree if you are young, don’t have children, and could live with your parents (so you don’t need to work as much during school). I took the “don’t need college” route after high school, and sure enough I’d like to pursue an advanced degree in my field now (16 years later) and need to get an undergraduate degree first. Basically it will give you more options later you might want then, only at the cost of learning stuff you’re interested in now. Even if you get a psych degree but decide to go into engineering later, you’ll be much closer by just taking some core classes.

In a nutshell, it is a far better situation to have it and not need it than vice versa.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Scarlett Do you need a Bachelor’s degree just to volunteer? If so, that sucks. Do you know anyone that does what you want to do or something similar to what you want to do? If you could find someone that you think you are interested in what they do, you could try to contact them to see if they would allow you to shadow them for a short time to get a better idea of what they do.

If you really want to look into the military, I would do a lot of research first to be sure you are getting into something you really want to do. Once you do some research, then talk to a recruiter and see what they would offer you.

As far as scholarships and grants, the difference is their source and their eligibilty requirements. If you fill out a FASFA, that will determine if you are eligible for federal grants and student loans. Scholarships you would have to apply for each one individually.

Scarlett's avatar

What is the best option or route to take, if someone has not enough money to go to College ? Get a scholarship, grant, loan, ?? And I don’t live with my parents. The only option in my mind was the military, but I am rethinking it….........Thanks for everyone responding.

lillycoyote's avatar

Here’s some information on how to get a job with the U.N. It may not be the only way, but even just browsing some of the jobs available might help you clarify your career goals. And of course, it’s certainly not the only way to get a job helping people. That can be done with college or without. You could start with volunteer work in your community and that might help you learn what have an interest in, what you have an aptitude for and possible even what you have a passion for.

Cruiser's avatar

My bottom line is it is not what you know but who you know! At the very least what they think you know. Take away is to get the experience to do what you love with the least investment of cash and or time and that can be had by saddling up with someone who can show you the ropes. You can volunteer or intern at many places to gain experience you need to get the job you want. Problem now is the job market in that many highly educated folks are fighting over low wage jobs. Good luck!

aprilsimnel's avatar

I have a friend who has a BA in Sociology that she got during the usual period and then got a Master of Public Administration degree in her early 40s. For her upper-level position working with and developing programs to integrate young adults on the autistic spectrum in their communities, she needed the credentials that the MPA gave her.

It really does depend on what you want to do. I didn’t “need” to go as a person in film, but I needed the experience of being at uni for my own personal growth. Also, I couldn’t get the highly competitive internship I got unless I was attending a 4-year college. In your case, since you want to help people, you could probably take what the Brits call a “gap year” after high school and either do entry-level work and/or volunteer for various “helping” agencies and perhaps something will come into sharper focus for you.

You wouldn’t have to go to college immediately at 18. Many people don’t go until their 30s, or even later. You’re free to decide. And, if you do decide to go, contact the schools you’re interested in attending for more detailed information on how to get the money.

lilikoi's avatar

@Scarlett You can get government loans to attend college. Humanitarian work is broad; there are infinite ways to help people. You need to figure out what you want to do more specifically. Then it will be clear whether college is the best route or not. Why not just get an entry level job that appeals to you and see where that leads?

YARNLADY's avatar

In general, the reasons for going to college involve statistics, people with college degrees on average earn more than people without college degrees. Is that important to you? Do you think it would apply in your case?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Seaofclouds Right now, you need a bachelor’s degree for 90% of the volunteer positions, if it’s a liberal arts degree you need some experience, and for the other 10% if you have no degree you must have 3–5 years full-time work experience in business, agriculture, construction, information and communication technology, youth development, or nonprofit organizations.

Don’t know if it’s always been that way, but it seems like they’re missing out on a LOT of volunteers.

There are other organizations, but they all require you to pay to go over, and it’s roughly the same amount as a semester at college – only, there are no loans.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Scarlett I tried for years to go without a degree, and it’s really hard to get beyond entry level jobs filing or answering phones. Technically, there are some jobs that don’t require a degree, but if there’s another applicant (and there always is) who has a degree, they’ll be the one getting the job. I’m starting school this fall to become an architect, and every state requires a degree in order to license you.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I have worked for a few managers who did not have a college degree, and could tell right away from their approach to work and business. They were all great at doing status quo work, but when it came time to implement change or anything involving divergent thinking, they didn’t do very well. Work is always about following directions and working harder or longer; sometimes it’s about working smarter and leveraging new tools and technology. Once change became an imperative, they were let go.

There are two factors to higher education – education for employment “learn a defined skill” and education for analysis or understanding. You can go to a two year or four year program and learn a skill that will lead to a job – or you can take classes that lead to better abstract thinking. Writing a paper on Heidegger may seem like a waste of time to some, but the ability to take a complex subject, dissect, analyze and convey information about it has broader implications.

If you make a decision to not go to school because you’re not sure what you want to do, you are essentially rooting yourself in the same place where the view never changes.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I’m thinking I’ll probably go to community college (but not live at home!) because what I really want to do is be the best mom I can be to whatever kids I might be blessed with. I don’t need to go to college for that. Obviously I’m going to need a job before I get married and stuff, but what I want to do wouldn’t require going to an expensive college. So think about it.

perspicacious's avatar

It’s not a waste of money if you are there because you want to be and take all you can from it. It is a life enriching experience if you allow it to be. It’s not for everyone, I agree with that. Many people want to learn a trade or craft; no college necessary. Incomes are generally higher for college grads, but not always. I think many people actually get more out of college when they do not go right after high school. The problem with waiting is that life gets in the way—marriage, family, etc.

wundayatta's avatar

More and more, you can’t get a job without a Bachelor’s degree. Especially in an economy like this one where PhDs are taking call center jobs.

I don’t know what Forbes said (is there a citation?), but all the data I’ve seen show that, on average, the more education you have, the higher your income will be. Income isn’t everything, of course, but education is pretty close to being everything. There’s more than one way to get an education, of course. Travel is very educational. But for value per dollar, you can’t beat a college education.

I just can’t imagine not getting a college degree these days. If I didn’t provide for my children to go to college, I would feel I should turn in my parenting license.

But hey. There are lots of people out there who see the world different than I do.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Talk to the academic advisor at the nearest university and tell them as specifically as possible what your career goals are and they will tell you what options exist that will prepare you for such work.

Do that at several colleges and universities if you can, even if you need to do so by telephone.

Nice to hear from you Scarlett! How are you doing?

JLeslie's avatar

I think you should go to college. Go, and live on campus, and be with bunches of people your same age, study what interests you and have a lot of fun. There is only one time in your life you can really experience this atmosphere, and that is when you are young, under 25 would be my cut off. You can always go back to school and get an education, but the fun part will not quite be the same. Also, if you give it a try and hate it, you can always quit, but if you never do it, you never know. And, believe me, you don’t really know what college life is going to be like until you try it. Once you have a 4 year degree you will always have it. You can study abroad with many universities, my school has very expansive international program many schools do.

I know there have been many articles on the cost of school, it can be outrageous for sure, and I am disgusted by the idea that kids graduate and are saddled with enormous debt. Will your parents be able to help you pay for school? Any chance you can get a scholarship of some sort?

Can I ask…do your parents have college degrees?

Yehekai's avatar

depends on how you want your future to turn out. good luck with your decision :)

lillycoyote's avatar

@YARNLADY It’s, even generally, not merely a matter of statistics. Some jobs, careers and certainly most professional careers require not only college degrees, but advanced degrees.

Likeradar's avatar

It will never, ever hurt you to have a college degree. You might never use it, but you will prevent many doors from closing in your face if you have one.

Also, college is an excellent time to pursue and develop interests and develop socially.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, @Likeradar has mentioned, It will (probably) never hurt you to get or to have a college degree. There are benefits to an education, and “Education” with a capital “E” that transcends the purely functional, that transcends merely making money. I know to some people that may be, or seem to be a luxury, but it really isn’t, I don’t think. If you can do it, if you can afford it, you owe it to yourself to become a well educated as you can. Maybe you will regret if you do, but I don’t think you will.

aveffects's avatar

Ask yourself one question.

What do you want to do with your life?

What kind of job do you want to do if going to college helps then I would recommend it.

College isn’t for everyone but you have to do what’s right for you not anyone else.

qualifications are never a bad thing

BoBo1946's avatar

College is the best insurance money can buy. Sure, you can make a good living without it, but it opens so many doors by having that degree.

JLeslie's avatar

After reading some of these posts again and especially the last one above this post that @aveffects wrote, I feel like it is worth saying that college can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. For most young people that is a very difficult question, because you have less experience in the world, don’t know everythng that is available. I still don’t and I am 42. As I get older I understand better that it is impossible to know all careers that exist until you have some real contact within an industry. College lets you explore your interests and talk to people from all over the country with many different experiences, especially if it is a big university. It is also a place where you make new friends and build netowrks of people that can help you throughout your life both personally and in your career.

I asked if your parents went to college, because like I said in my first statement, there is no way to know what the big university, live on campus life is like, unless you have done it. The people who haven’t experienced it don’t really know what they have missed. Now, of course there are a few people who do not enjoy college or living on campus, but if you ask around, most people will say it was one of their best times in their life.

sleepdoc's avatar

I would be a little cautious about what Forbes is telling you. Can you make a good living without college, yes. But many who do are very gifted at something and have a natural aptitude which just puts them over the top. Having said that in some cases you have to wait for someone to take a chance on you.

Are there those out there with college degress who can’t find work, yes. And then the end up fighting for the jobs that they are“overqualified” for, meaning you don’t have to have a degree to get them. All in all though most companies value education. They pay people more when they have it. They look for it when they promote and advance people. And there are some fields you just can’t work in without it.

mattbrowne's avatar

Being able to enjoy at least 70% of all classes / subjects of classes is a reason to go to college. There will always be some stuff that you may find boring or perhaps too complicated.

In 2020 and beyond we even need more highly trained and skilled people. Above all we need scientists and engineers and teachers.

BoBo1946's avatar

@mattbrowne I’ve considered going back to teaching. And, maybe coach some! I’m retired and since i had to give up golf until after my surgery, kind of bored! But, having said that, it’s a different World since i left teaching 30 years ago!

mattbrowne's avatar

@BoBo1946 – How about private tutoring? Many students love this. I think it’s wonderful to share all this knowledge and experience.

BoBo1946's avatar

ummm..never thought about it. My subject was History….that would be a tough one to tutor…most people’s problems with History, they just don’t like it Matt!

bob_'s avatar

One reason: you learn how to use CAPS.

josie's avatar

The thing that distinguishes a human being from every other critter that has a brain, is that a human being has a mind. I mind does not just happen. It must be developed. Just like, every one has a body, but not everybody has can compete in the Olympics. Such people have to develop themselves. If you are not willing to develop your mind, you might as well just be a dog, or some other critter with just a brain.
NOT saying college is the only way to do it, but it is certainly an important consideration.

actuallery's avatar

As long as you have proper subjects to study and not just Humanities or Arts. Going to College must be more than just a social networking adventure and you should consider that though it is good to create a network of “friends” you should also consider that College is really about education and improving your knowledge, and giving you a better chance for a professional career. Going to College just because you’ve got nothing better to do is not a good enough reason.

GeorgeGee's avatar

Here are some well researched figures, consistent with a number of other sources:
In the average person’s lifetime, an Associate’s degree can be worth roughly $60—$200K in additional earnings. An MD degree can be worth nearly $1 Million in additional earnings. Some degrees however, such as a Master’s in English, do not usually increase earnings. There are many fields and professions such as Architecture, Engineering, Nursing, Medicine, Law and teaching where you will not even be able to begin a career without the proper college degrees. You can make “good money” by a number of routes without a college degree IF you spend as much or more time than you would have in college educating yourself. These jobs include trades, truck driving, business and investing.

Carly's avatar

Here was the motivation for me to continue going to college:

All my friends that didn’t go to some kind of higher education are REALLY stupid.
My friends that went/are in college are still stupid, but not as.
I have a few friends who didn’t benefit from college, but most of the others gained life skills, confidence, a broader perspective on life and better jobs.

perspicacious's avatar

@bob_ is correct. You will be forced to use CAPS correctly.

gorgeousgal3's avatar

I think it just depends on what you are interested in pursuing or doing in your life. Some jobs/ occupations only require some training and maybe a certification of some sort while other careers require a bachelor’s degree or master’s in that field. While other jobs/occupations would just require having a license of some sort/training( cosmetology license for hairstyling, shin care, make up artistry), certification to be an aerobics instructor, bartender, etc.While if your definitely interested in being a teacher, lawyer, or psychologist you would need to have a degree.Good luck on whatever you decide to do, just make sure you have all the information you need to make your decision.

ashesg's avatar

Go. Because..the graffiti is better? :)

emeraldisles's avatar

it depends on what you want to do. if you want to be in the cosmetology field then you would need to be licensed. if you wanted a business degree or to be a lawyer you would need to go for th degree. but my advice is to not waste your money on going to college for something you don’t even want to do because your family expects you to become a’‘lawyer’’ or a ’’ doctor’’ when you really want to be something else. you’ll figure it out and what it takes.

Hibernate's avatar

First time I attended i had to dropout.
I did not like it but I was forced to by circumstances.
[ went back after but this is not the point ]

And after some time [ few years ] a friend made a joke about College Dropout album [ Kanye West ] and i started laughing. It felt so good to be able to say ” So what ? I’m glad i was a college dropout Do you feel jealous that you are not ? You have no guts !! ” We both laughed that day .. i still smile when I remember that day.

But enough of this . Back on topic.
Going to college helps you [ if you go to what you like ] understand and practice better whatever attracts you. Those classes help. Not to mention that is easier to get a job after.

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