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Value of a College Education

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Why is it important to achieve a college degree, certificate or diploma? Generally speaking, what is the importance of having a college education? This is a question that I have been debating and fighting with myself for the past five years. Is it because with a college education a person can get a better job, earn more money and ensure himself of a better life? Or is the whole concept of college a fraud and a scam to manipulate individuals in feeling inferior without it? In this paper, I am going to enlighten you of the pros and cons of having a valid college education and what it means to me.

Senator John Kerry said in a 2004 presidential debate that "Our college students represent only 20 percent of our population, but they are 100 percent of our future. They are our greatest investment, and we must help them understand the importance of investing in their selves." Today a college education is something to be treasured. In both earning potential and learning potential, a college education is worth every dime and penny. Just like any investment, a college education requires planning, saving, and perhaps some sacrifice. But it is an investment that will continue to pay you back for a lifetime. Individuals with a college education have better job opportunities, earn more money and develop skills and knowledge that can never be taken away. So in agreeing with Senator Kerry, making the investment of a college education is the greatest investment we will ever make.

By attending college, students guarantees themselves a better job that the average Joe. Because the world is changing rapidly, and many jobs rely on new technology, more jobs require education beyond high school. With a college education, an individual will have more jobs from which to choose. In addition to obtaining a better job, people who go to college usually earn more money than those who do not. College furnishes you with proper credentials and documents to land high-level jobs. Figures from an A&E television program on 'The Working Class' show that in 2004 the average earnings were $23,895 for a high school graduate and $41,478 for individuals with a bachelor's degree. Getting a college education is simply a stepping stone in ensuring yourself with a good start in life. Some may agree that college students are open minded and knows exactly how to express themselves and their thoughts which is a benefit when comes to making important life decisions. Also, by being educated a person is more informed about the world around them, what this means is, the majority of young voters tends to be college students. I believe that college graduates are also the ones whose children are inspired to earn a valid education. College graduates generally have better jobs, earn more money than their average peers which simply results in them enjoying a better quality of life.

On the negative or less optimistic side, it seems to be universally accepted that college education is a good thing; however, thousands of colleges and millions of students spend vast amounts of time and money chasing some sort of degree, diploma or certificate. But what is the value of these qualifications? Most college students (me included) gets brainwashed or sidetracked by administrators of education. They make it seems as though having a college education is the only way doors will open for students. Certificates, diplomas, and degrees are held up as a status symbol and the key to money, power and success. However, the truly powerful are not those with degrees, but people who stand back and look at what is really important in life. These people are found in every part of society. Take my present boss for instance, Carol Levine. Carol never attended college; she actually was a high school drop out who eventually went on to receiving her GED. Today she is the general manager for a fortune 500 company which is also one of Florida's number one title insurance corporations. Not only my boss has had such luck, many brilliant people in history did not have college educations. Take Einstein for instance, he was a weak math student. Even Bill Gates never completed college, or what about Edison who never even went to school. Similarly, many of the world's political leaders do not have master's degrees or doctorates, mostly prime ministers in the Caribbean and in Europe and even some of our very own republican and democratic members in our US House of Representative. Students in college are being sold an illusion. They are made to believe that self-understanding and society approval will only come with the achievement of a piece of paper. Education is now something that can be purchased. Like a powerful new car or a newly built house, a college degree has become a luxury that everyone wants. But when everybody has something, that thing becomes worthless. Education is becoming devalued as more people have degrees. It takes much higher qualifications to get a job. Once upon a time a degree-holder



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