College education – intelligence or financial stability?

“In an economy where knowledge is the most valuable commodity a person and a country have to offer, the best jobs will go to the best educated – whether they live in US or India or china.” US President Barack Obama, Washington D C (July 25th, 2009)

Today, a diploma or a degree is not satisfying for most individuals as a symbol of knowledge/intelligence, but as a symbol of eligibility for a job. Most parents want their children to go to college, to get that degree so that they can get a job and live a financially secure life. Smriti, a 2nd year BBA student says, “Education really, is very valuable, and moreover it is an asset, it makes us competitive in the labor market and enables financial security.” According to a research done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average earnings become high and the level of unemployment falls, with each education level acquired. Studies also demonstrate clearly that without a college degree, you will likely earn less, be more liable to be unemployed and have fewer opportunities for career advancement.

Can we say that the role of higher studies is only limited to financial gains and education equals more earnings?  No, not really because limiting education only for a financial gain is an insult to its significance in human lives. , John Adams says, “You will ever remember that all the end of study is to make you a good man and a useful citizen.” A college degree basically is an epitome of academic success. What is ‘academic success’? Is it only being proficient in science, mathematics, computer/technical skills, foreign languages, or history, geography, sociology? Ellis & Worthington, 1994; Scheuermann, 2000, describe a successful student as socially proficient, knowing to balance social and academic aspects, being goal oriented, and intrinsically motivated.

College education enhances ability to: analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information; to effectively communicate with others; to work collaboratively in culturally diverse settings; to develop into leaders who see projects through to completion. Mrs. Pratima Das (mother of two college going daughters) says, “I totally believe in getting college experience, mainly because it guarantees a prestigious job, helps children build relationships, and facilitates an environment wherein children develop an intense desire for learning.”

Most of the college degrees have little applicability in the work force and most of the skills are developed on the job, the degree is more of a proxy for determining whether an individual applying for a job has the required level of intelligence needed to perform the job. For the reason that being well educated or intelligent is all in the application; the use of one’s education. Until that occurs, education is really just information, and any information has to be utilized in order to be retained and transformed into knowledge. So, college education only when used/applied in practical, equates to intelligence which further leads to financial stability.

It is more than obvious that pursuing a degree will fetch you tons of information and knowledge; with this you will become sophisticated in your opinions and views of life and thus groom your personality. It definitely contributes to your, self concept, which in turn boosts your self esteem and self perception.  It teaches you reasoning skills, needed to make life decisions ranging from buying a home to helping your own children receiving proper education. You become instrumental in the educational development of your family, the future generations and in turn the society. During your college life you are experiencing a life in a community of people and therefore you get a higher standing in social circles.

Therefore, it serves an individual in developing socially, intellectually, and emotionally, and acts as a catalyst in bringing positive change in society and contributing to development of good human beings. You also contribute to the wealth of the nation by creating wealth for yourself, as higher education distinctly leads to better prospects of earning a living and making you self sufficient.

So don’t ever miss to grab the opportunity to get higher education, for, it is the best tool to transform into resourceful human beings.

“The university brings out all abilities, including incapability” – Anton Chekhov

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