Do You Have to Go to College?

This is a big question that most people will ask themselves at least once. I have asked myself the question “Do I need a degree?” multiple times. It is September and it is that crazy time where high school seniors are starting the application process, juniors are starting to visit colleges, and adults considering going back are beginning to look at their options. If you came here looking for a straightforward answer to the necessity of a degree, prepare to be disappointed, because I don’t think there is a straightforward answer for everyone. I have broken down some key categories worth looking into to help you decide if you should continue your education, but the decision ultimately will fall on you, and possibly your family members.

Career Aspirations
What is your dream job? If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, you most definitely need higher education. If you want to become a public school teacher, you need a degree. There are some career fields where getting a degree might be waste of precious time and money. If you plan on starting your own business, you can benefit a lot from a business degree, but you could also spend a little time on Google to learn the ropes of running a business for a much lower price tag. If you want to work in the entertainment industry, a college degree is worth considering, but-depending on the person-if might not be necessary. My cousin works as a dancer and he decided against attending college. Some career fields only require a certificate. Careers like certified nursing assistant and cosmetologist only require a certificate in order to work. The point of this is to look at your options and what you see yourself doing everyday for a wage. It might require a degree, it might not.
Current Training/Experience
This relates to me, especially, because of my dreams of being a flutist, private teacher, and composer. I could do any of those jobs without a college degree, but since I started playing the flute in high school, I didn’t have the necessary experience to work right after I graduated. I am currently in a bachelors degree program that will help me gain the skills and knowledge to further my career options. College is also a good option if you are dreaming of a performance career, because it can be a great tool for networking with professionals and other students. As a music major, I also will have a ton of performance experience to put on my resume when I graduate. If you think that a college degree can train you to be better at your job, look into a degree-even if it’s an associates.
As I have already stated, college is a big deal and choosing to (or not to) get a degree is a big decision. There are more things I could go into regarding this topic, but this is already longer than the average entry in “Thoughtworthy”. So, take these tips and thoughts into consideration when you make your decisions this fall.
Thanks for reading!

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