No one would dispute that going to college can be both expensive and time-consuming, so how do you know that pursuing a higher education is right for you? While it might not be right for everyone, there are a number of ways that getting an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or even a doctoral degree can be a good idea for some people.
On average, people who go to college make more money over a lifetime than people who do not attend. Many entry-level jobs require a bachelor’s degree, and in some other fields, you will need a master’s or higher in order to advance. In addition, there are fields that require a certain type of training. This is true of healthcare, teaching, and certain areas of accounting and law, as well as architecture, pharmacy, veterinary science, and a number of other sectors. Even taking the cost of college into account, you will probably make more money, and there are many ways to pay for your tuition and cost of living, including scholarships and grants. Another route is student loans. Both federal loans, which are need-based, and private loans, which are not, can help you pay for your education-related expenses.
Transition to Adulthood
College can be an excellent environment in which to transition to adulthood. While you can certainly get a job while still living at home with your parents or move out and get a job, the former doesn’t really prepare you for an adult lifestyle while the latter can be a lot to handle at once. When you go to college, you learn how to do things like managing your money, cooking, and clean, and getting along with roommates in relatively controlled circumstances. College offers a built-in structure and the opportunity to find mentors and role models as well as connect with people your own age whom you may stay friends with for the rest of your life.
Broadening Your Horizons
Education makes the world seem bigger. When you attend college, this happens both inside and outside of the classroom. As part of the curriculum, you are exposed to many different ideas you might never have encountered before. In interacting with your professors and classmates, you are exposed to people from many different walks of life with differing perspectives and experiences. This can be valuable in helping you to look at things in your life from the point of view of other people.
Travel and Work Opportunities
When you are a student, multiple doors are open to you. There are study and work abroad programs aimed specifically at students. Discounts can make it easier for you to travel internationally than at any other time in your life and spending some time working or going to school in another culture can be life-changing. In addition, there are things to consider about post-undergrad life opportunities. Many companies offer internships specifically to college students. This can give you an opportunity to get experience in an industry that interests you or even to work for your dream company for a short time. Many companies specifically recruit college students after they graduate. You will have access to these opportunities as a graduating student.