College Survival Guide/Is going to college worth my time
Is it really? edit
College is what you make of it edit
College is what you make of it. Should you apply yourself, you may find yourself in a position to network with potential future leaders, work under esteemed researchers, and broaden your horizons in other ways. Yet college can also be a waste of time and money for those who do not take it seriously or those burdened by other commitments, leaving the student unsatisfied and possibly destitute. The decision to go to college is not one to make lightly.
Many members of society hold college educated people in high regard. A degree is not the only way to prove your skills to an employer, but it certainly helps. A broader understanding of the world around you can prepare you as a quality citizen who can make informed decisions. That said, there are many avenues for gaining knowledge and someone who can competently self study can go far. Resources provided by your local library, trade schools, and other resources allow for quality non-college education for adults.
Building a Background edit
Colleges have a number of resources that help build a background. Most have career centers, workshops, and other skill building resources. Better still, sometimes these include certificates or other resume builders that you can use to more easily prove your skills to others.
However resources not used are worthless to you. Some college students fail to take advantage of these resources, and find themselves book smart but unable to apply what they learned in practice immediately after graduation. Furthermore certifications do not always equate to real skill. While someone without certifications is subject to greater scrutiny during the hiring process, in many cases this can be overlooked if the applicant can prove themselves skilled in other ways. This often involves getting to know someone on the inside to bypass HR screening, which often excludes those without a degree.
It is important to note that some professions nearly universally exclude those without proper accreditation. This including Doctors, Engineers, and Lawyers among a few other positions that almost always require a degree from an accredited institution. At the same time, some careers have alternate paths to certification - Police Academies are one such example. When the price of failure is high, hiring a non credentialed worker is simply a risk most organizations can not take.
The Internet edit
Many people wish to destroy this institution conflict by destroying the institutions. However, some people believe the best way to do that is through espionage or becoming one of the collective. You've got various things that have changed since the 1700s. Most of all, you have the Internet. Yet the Internet has many people who were college educated. It is these people who are guiding others to knowledge. As time goes on, the amount of accurate information will present itself to people; and the possibility of a truly free education may become a reality. However, experience is the thing that colleges offer that the Internet does not. Unless a person does experiments, keeps logs, and gets certification through exams and testing, proving you've got experience is a very difficult task.
Interestingly, however, is that experience can be gained in many different ways:
The Artist edit
Some people say artists ought learn in college. College gives an artist a knowledge background as to methods, materials, art history, aesthetics, and other aspects of art. Some people would call this a 'formal' education in art. However, some artists don't need to go to college. These people are artists. They create art, and their ability to create art comes from talent and so forth. Whether or not these people are considered artists is up to aesthetics and debate, but a person doesn't need a college degree to be considered an artist. Artists draw, paint, sculpt, and do many other things with resources and mediums. Some artists graduate college and don't find a job right away. In other words, the ability to create art is more about experience, less about formal knowledge. Although, formal knowledge allows the artist to understand techniques, but such things can be learned out of various art books.
Artists show experience through a portfolio. However, the artist may want to take into consideration a type of formal education. This formal education may come from a freelance art teacher or through various art books.
The Scientist edit
On the other end of a spectrum you've got the scientist. This is the kind of person that finds graduating from college a necessity. The reason college is a necessity for this kind of person is for various reasons. One would be ethics, which discuss how science is to act in the future according to society. Another is a formal education in lab work, which often a group of persons doing experimentation. In whole, the scientist often goes to college in order to receive a formal education and work with a group of persons toward a common goal.
'Yes' and 'No' Summary edit
Yes and no. This all depends on a few factors. One of the factors is what you want to accomplish in the long run.
Want to be a computer scientist/mathematician/physicist/linguist/translator?
- Go to college and make the best grades you can.
Want to be a biologist/chemist?
- Go to college, because ethical concerns exist when employing people without proper training.
Want to be a scientist/doctor/neuroscientist?
- Same as above.
Want to be an artist/actor?
- You probably don't need to go. Most artists only need a portfolio to prove to others they are the cream of the crop. Colleges and universities don't really help these type of people. Many artists from earlier days rejected the schools and became famous. Salvador Dali was an artist who saw himself better than the teachers and later worked with Picasso.
Want to be a graphic designer/businessperson?
- You need training. Who is going to hire an interior decorator with no experience? The easiest place to get experience is college. And to get a job in the business world, unless you want to stay in an entry-level position, a degree is required.
In all reality, if someone holds a four-year-degree, he or she should be able to find a job somewhere. So college is your best bet for job security!
Recommended Reading edit
Bird, Caroline: The Case Against College (1972)