A popular view about the importance of higher education for a successful future is probably known to anyone. While growing up, we constantly hear from the adults that it is necessary to get good grades to get into a prestigious college and earn a degree, which would guarantee a high-paying job, quick promotion up the corporate ladder, and a lot of money. Such a mantra defines the ultimate fulfillment in life and programs the minds of the majority for very concrete choices and decisions they make in life. Nevertheless, numerous unconventional success stories of those who do not fall into a pattern and have broken the system at some point in their life have undermined the common belief, forcing today’s high school students to firmly doubt the stance repeated by their parents from the moment they were born.
Certainly, everyone knows that higher education helps to secure a job and stability on the career path. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people with a college degree in the United States face lower unemployment rates and get generally higher salaries than the ones without it. We all know that after four years (or more) of studies at a higher educational establishment and successful graduation, you may get closer to the profession of your dream. You can be an architect, a doctor, a lawyer, a firefighter, an accountant, an English essay writer, a teacher, or anyone else…
But can you really get rich? What about all those self-made millionaires who have dropped out of school we hear about every day? Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs are only some of the examples of people with no college degree but with enormous business empires and billions on their bank accounts who literally rule the world. Naturally, with such role models, modern teenagers would question the path their parents have chosen for them. A stable job? Well, yeah, that’s good… But wealth is more attractive. So, is a college degree necessary for getting rich?
Advantages of Higher Education
It is difficult to deny the simple truth that college prepares students for adult life irrespective of the major they choose. Very often, graduates start working not even in the field they studied for, but education definitely equips them with the necessary intellectual, corporate, and social skills they will benefit from in all the spheres of life. During their studies at a higher educational establishment, young people learn to think critically and analytically, grasp complex issues, communicate their views properly, and interact with others in a range of different situations. Generally, they are molded into more professional and all-sufficient individuals that possess organizational, time-management, and self-discipline skills, ready to deal with a myriad of challenges they may encounter in professional and personal life.
Such versatile personal development is definitely beneficial while securing a job after graduation, opening up numerous career opportunities. Indeed, you are more likely to get a better paying job with good chances of career advancement if you have a college degree as compared to your peers who only have a high school diploma. In fact, many employers would choose an applicant with a degree since they understand the benefits of self-development a college offers and value people who have undergone this invaluable school of life. They do not even care what you have studied; the fact that you HAVE studied at least something and acquired useful life skills already makes you a better candidate in their eyes.
To find employers, positions, and opportunities, you need to develop a good professional network. College is a perfect place to start creating one. This is where you can start volunteering, interning, getting part-time jobs at minor positions in big companies, getting acquainted with the field and important people in it, sharing your ideas with the influencers and potential mentors and investors, and generally securing useful contacts for the future. Generally speaking, studies at college may mark the start of your lucrative career.
Is Higher Education Needed to Get Rich?
While a college degree undoubtedly opens up an endless pool of attractive opportunities in the corporate world, many people say that this is a road to nowhere in the long run. A-grade students often get their degrees, sometimes as high as Ph.D., get a job in a prestigious company, become a 9-to-5 worker, gradually climbing up the career ladder buy a house, start a family, retire, and just enjoy their quiet senility in financial mediocrity. Very few of them manage to get really rich.
A lot of experts and entrepreneurs claim that a good job is not a guarantee of sufficient financial security. Similarly, a college degree is not a guarantee of a profitable job that can lead to the desired material well-being. The reason is the declining quality of today’s higher education. Many years ago, when college or university was the fate of the select few, a degree really guaranteed an amazing job with an astonishing salary, rewards, and bonuses. Nowadays, it does not offer a competitive edge since there is a crowd of similar degree-holders behind the door waiting for an interview to fill the same position you are applying for.
Above that, experts say that today’s colleges, while offering qualifications in the chosen field, do not equip graduates with the needed skills. Yes, employers value a degree since it is proof of your education, maturity, and readiness for adult life, making you more competitive in comparison to candidates with only a high school diploma. However, really lucrative jobs do not need educated employees; they require skilled ones. So, if you cannot boast better skills than other applicants with a similar degree, you can only get a decent job that will ultimately bring you to your quiet senility in financial mediocrity.
Self-made millionaires and entrepreneurs like James Altucher, Adam Braun, and Grant Cardone claim that college is just a waste of time. Their advice for students is to skip college and instead, spend these four years on more useful activities like obtaining skills. Initiatives like Cardone’s 10XGrowthCon or Braun’s MissionU offer specifically designed training targeted at increasing the participants’ value in the marketplace.
While such alternatives are still not numerous and the educational system has not yet realized the need for changing the course in order to offer students better prospects, a college degree is considered an important factor of success. Yes, it is good for getting a job and self-fulfillment, but not quite necessary for getting rich. Zuckerberg, Gates, and Jobs have already proved that worldwide fame and billions of dollars on the bank account only require an innovative idea and a whole lot of motivation.