College experience offers young people the opportunity to socialize and work within a society made up exclusively of people of their age. College provides a platform where young people share experience and develop relationships. Surprisingly, 30% of community college graduates report that they met their spouses in college as compared to 15% who report that they met their spouses in high school. Finding a spouse is not the only social benefits one accrues from attending college education. Other benefits include higher self- esteem, job satisfaction, higher income and greater chances of securing a job after graduating from college. However, college education comes with at a cost. For instance, over 70% of community college graduates leave college in debt in terms of student loans and the amount of that debt is substantial. Despite the cost implication of pursuing college education, college experience is full of financial and non-financial benefit to both an individual and the society at large. I therefore, strongly recommend college education to young people regardless whether it is pursed at community college or nationally renowned colleges.
College education is of immerse benefit to both an individual and society at large. Community college graduates enjoy a median income twice than those with only high school diploma. Income difference between a college graduate and high school graduate can affect a person for his entire working life, and into retirement. Recent study indicates that level of education is an important factor which determines the level of income of a person. From the forgoing, college education is a choice that has lifelong financial implication. Even if the burden of college debt is real, it overburdens a graduate in the short-run with significant benefits in the long run.
At the same time, college education teaches graduate practical reasons on financial responsibility while in college. For instance, a student has to make difficult financial choice and learn to save money to buy lunch and other personal effects from the college canteen or that cool college backpack. Lessons of financial responsibility play a critical role when a college graduate has to make other financial decisions in life after college.
College education plays a significant role in reducing unemployment in a country. People with college education in any field are much less likely to be unemployed in the sense that even if they lost one job, they are most likely to find new employment quickly as compared to with those only with high school diploma. In 2014, unemployment rate, on average worldwide, for those with college degree was 3.5% as compared to those with high school education which stood at 6% (Oreopoulos and Petronijevic ,55).This implies that a person who has not graduated from college is twice as more likely to be unemployed compared to someone who has.
While financial gain from employment is an important factor in career satisfaction, it is not the sole factor. The Study further indicates that 53% of college graduates tend to be more satisfied with their jobs compared with 37% of high school graduate. This clearly shows that college education regardless whether it is acquired from a community college or nationally renowned colleges yields more benefit as compared to lower levels of education. Apart from higher levels of job satisfaction, college education also gives a graduate more autonomy at work. This is because college education gives graduate an opportunity to hold positions of influence where they are able to make independent decisions.
College education also offers emotional benefits. College education provides a platform where meaningful social experience such as friendship and long term relationship thrives. On the other hand, people who do not attend college education miss out on numerous significant experiences, such as social experience, which result to lifelong implication to an individual.
On the contrary, some people argue that it is better off not attending college because college graduate end up earning less, on average, than high school graduate. The average return of going to college is declining. Empirical finding indicated that, for instance in 2012, a typical community college graduate took 8 years to break even in terms of return on their investment in college education. By the time they recoup expense incurred in pursuing college education, most college student will be 30 years old .Furthermore, as the price tag for college education goes up, it will take longer time to recoup the expense. At the same time, the payoff time will keep on varying depending on the time one graduates from college. Projections indicate that, if one graduates from college in the year 2015 he will not breakeven until the age of 31.2030 community college graduate will not breakeven until the age of 33.On the other hand, 2050 college graduate will not breakeven until the age of 37.This findings clearly indicate that college education is losing its relevance in the society. Simply because one goes to college in order to equip self with education so that he can secure a good job so that to lead good live and repay the debt if one relied on loans to finance college education. Therefore, with this indication of prolonged period for one to breakeven in terms of time and resources invested in acquiring college education, it bits logic for one to continue pursing college education if one can look college education purely on financial grounds.
However, payoff period does not solely depend on the year of graduation, but other factors like the skills an individual and major pursued. Some college degrees are more valuable than others in terms of their returns. Compensation in the form of salaries is going up much faster for graduates from top colleges compared to those graduates from community colleges. At the same time, salaries for those graduates who major in fields like business, technology and health care go up much faster as compared to those who pursue other courses. “Graduates pursuing lower paying courses such as education, arts and psychology face the highest risk of a negative return," notes Webber. "For them, a college education may not be of any meaningful importance."
However, the benefit of college education comes at a cost. The price tag of college education is quite high. Furthermore, the cost college educations even at community based colleges continue to increase. After spending many years in college, graduate turn up to be a frustrated lot when they are unable to secure a job. On the other hand, employer becomes frustrated because most community based graduates do not produce graduates with specific skills to meet the requirement of potential employers. End result of is that students debts are on the rise. The employers end up employing who have undertaken other training and high school graduates. Given the fact that college education consumes four to five productive years of a young person which will have otherwise be used engaging in other productive activities such as working. After four to five years of hard work, the young person leaves college with a paper which does not guarantee lucrative employment immediately after clearing with college education. “Having a college degree is less about obtaining access to a lucrative managerial and more about out doing less-educated workers of clerical job,” observes Bruns.
College experience also poses challenges ranging from mundane details of life such doing laundry, meals and managing mild illness to complex such conflict with friends and family members and financial problems for those who come from needy backgrounds. These negative experiences may force a student to commit suicide or even engage in other unsocial activities which will have lifelong healthy implication to the student. Others argue that one does not have college education in order to lead a successful life. For instance many people are deciding to become entrepreneurs. If one belongs to these categories of people, there is no need of pursuing college education. Hence one can invest the resources which would have been otherwise invested in college education in business.
The shortcoming of pursuing college education can be easily dealt with. For instance, the cost financing college education can be counted by applying for community-based and national sponsorship. The argument that college graduates earn less than high school diploma holder is not fully convincing. The benefit of pursuing college education goes beyond the financial rewards. College experience offers other non-monetary benefits which have lifelong positive implication to the life of a college graduate.
In conclusion, a college education can be expensive. However, the college education offers lifelong benefits which range from higher income, higher job satisfaction, emotional and social benefits. Therefore, the benefits of pursuing college education outweigh the benefits of not pursuing a college education.