In the United States, college has become so expensive that some people have to drop out because they can’t afford it. Fortunately though I don’t have to worry about that, as my parents provided me with all the money I needed. It’s still a relevant problem for lower class households, however, who may have the grades and knowledge to achieve a higher education, but don’t have the money to go there. A quote by Larry Wilmore Roundtable shows how much it’s inflated “since 1978 the cost of college tuition has risen 1120 percent.” Not all people graduate either, “only 59 percent of people who enter college actually graduate,” the other half become dropouts, I really hope I don’t became part of that 41 percent. Imagine those people trying to pay off years of college debt, while making less money if they had graduated. The rising costs of college is not something to ignore, it has become a very relevant issue, and it’s a debt that no one really wants to pay off.
I think that College should be made financially accessible to everyone in the United States, so that no one should have to quit because of an empty wallet. Finances should be the last thing a student needs to worry about, when they’re working hard towards their dream job. If students lose the ability to pay tuition, sometimes there is no other choice left than to quit. I went to SNC to find my interests, and eventually my dream job, which is hard to find when college is unaffordable. Theirs is no way I’d be able to get there, if went into the job market right after high school.
A well-paying and exciting job would make a higher education “worth it”. Obviously if college is going to be worth it I need to be able to support myself with the money I make using the skills I have learned from my college experience. A job has to pay well enough that I can live on my own and pay off the large sum of bills coming from my education. I would also prefer a job that isn’t boring or unappealing, I don’t want to be stuck in a career that I’m going to hate getting up to every morning. One that appeals to my personal interests of history and learning.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is the category of majors our country is putting the most emphasis on. It has drawn more attention away from the liberal arts education, and put it in a state of decline. The STEM is not as important as some believe, however, right now there is a large amount of people with college degrees. That means employers are not looking as much, for a college degree these days. Some of them value qualities such as problem solving and communication over a major.
A liberal arts degree is not worthless, no matter how much emphasis is placed STEM. Common skills such as writing clear sentences, writing sentences quickly and making them clearly legible. Another advantage is that it helps speaking skills and analyzing material effectively. The liberal arts are just as important as STEM, they help with skills that be useful throughout your entire life. Skills such as writing will be used in every job you apply for, so it’s important to develop writing skills as much as possible.
Right now I haven’t decided on any specific major and probably won’t until at least one to two years of studying. So I don’t have any specific job I’m aiming for yet. As a freshman I haven’t given much attention to what I’ll be doing in four years. Personally though I have an interest history, although I’m not sure whether there are many job options available for these types of majors. Not being part of the STEM program, a history major will not be as valuable in this economy. Science sounds the most appealing out of all the STEM majors. Although I’m not sure whether this is a good idea, so my major is left undecided, for now.
A broader set of experiences sounds better than one specific job oriented degree. The economy is changing all the time some jobs increase in demand, while other ones decrease in value. Not all skills stay relevant, jobs that were in high demand a few years ago may not be as valuable or even usable, as they once were. There is a high chance I will be working for much longer than a few years, so I will need skills that can cover anything a future employer will want from me. College prepares us not only for the job we are studying for but also the ones we aren’t studying for. To prepare for those jobs a well-rounded degree is needed and high school generally doesn’t prepare us for those either, making it even more important. A person doesn’t just have one job for their entire life, they have many and they are not all the same. As Fareed Zakaria stated “a person on average will have at least 6 different in their lifetime.” If that’s true, then a narrower (one skilled) education won’t be good if you have to apply the same skillset to 6 different workplaces.
I choose St. Norbert College because it was closer to home and had a lot to offer. The classes are more personalized and have less students in them. Currently I have no plans to participate in any sports, but the clubs/organizations here are more interesting, than anything offered when I attended high school. St. Norbert will provide a diverse, broad, and better education than any 2-year college. A liberal arts education will provide enough for all my future jobs and careers.