The big question is, why do we strive so hard to go to college? What’s the importance of attaining a college degree, is it for knowledge or prosperity? Some people would have mixed reactions to this question, some could say to acquire new knowledge in different fields while others will agree with getting prosperous, putting the emphasis on get a better paying job. If we look at both reasons, one can agree that there is a purpose as to why we work so hard to get a college degree, but looking at how things have turn out for some people, is the idea of going to college a bad one?
The public perception is that getting a college degree can open a world of opportunities. There is literally no big organization that will lower their recruitment standards of appointing anyone with no university degree unless you are well connected with the top echelons. If we base our arguments on “knowledge” and “prosperity” being the reasons as to why we strive to get a university degree, then is it really possible to achieve these two goals without a university degree? I can argue that a person can attain knowledge even without stepping a foot in a university because having an education does not guaranty wisdom, for it can be achieved by choosing to follow a lifestyle that is worthy of attracting more knowledge. I say this because your lifestyle can determine how far you go in life, all of this can be done without education. Learning can also be acquired through reading the right kind of books, this too can be done if one chooses to live to follow that kind of lifestyle. I have interacted with a lot of people from different ethnic backgrounds and religious beliefs, and I can conclude that education is not a prerequisite for knowledge. I have met so many ignorant people who have this so-called university degree, you would think the degree could have changed them. Still, some of them choose to remain that way and this is why I say lifestyle and choices that one wants can give you a different variety of knowledge.
Now, if we take a look at prosperity being the other reason, the focal point of discussion would be, can having a university degree make you prosperous? If we take a look at some of the wealthiest people in the world, so many of them never had a university degree but we can see how they still rose to the top. Wealthy parents spend thousands of dollars from their pockets to take their children to the best schools around the world. In contrast, middle-class parents would settle for what they can afford and some go as far as encouraging their kids to apply for student loans only for them to have a significant amount of debt on their name for many years. In some parts of the world, especially the U.S. and Canada, getting a college degree is not free; it cost an arm and a leg to scale through, depending on the type of university you choose. It cost thousands of dollars for one to achieve a degree, and this is why private financial institutions, in partnership with the government secretly created student loans to keep graduates tied to them with debt. When you take a student loan of more than $20,000 dollars, you have a responsibility to pay back the money after school, meaning you have to get a job as soon as possible and this is how the government purposely hinders it’s citizens from progressing. In developing nations, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, the educational systems are always substandard, mostly in the government-owned institutions; this is why so many parents in these countries send their kids to expensive private schools. If a university degree is supposed to make us prosper, then why do we find it hard to get a job after spending thousands of dollars and why not just invest that money in a business and see how far it takes you? Why spend so much money on education either through self-servicing or loans when we can use that money to start up a business that might end up creating prosperity? I have come to realize that university is a big business, the school has a mandate to make money, that is why some of them are not for free even in developed nations, and don’t get me started on the job market, these days you need luck to get your dream job. Despite so many applications, one doesn’t get considered and you begin to wonder if going to the university was worth the struggle. Some even blamed their poorly written CV, not knowing that it’s not about the CV or how it’s put together, it’s just that organizations these day are very selective when it comes to employing the right person. Don’t also forget that you are not the only applicant, there are so many out there with better grades and better CV’s, but they still fall under the same situation as you.
In conclusion, if we look at both knowledge and prosperity, can we all agree that they are very achievable without a degree for knowledge is possible depending on your lifestyle. I know that acquiring wisdom is a choice, it’s free to get, but it all depends on what path you take. Is it now safe to conclude that a university degree cannot open doors of prosperity, seeing how the job market has turned out to be these days. Why can’t we spend the same money we use on getting a degree on a business plan, which has a higher possibility of making us prosperous? I know everyone would have a different opinion on this, but is a university degree really worth it? Is all the stress we face in trying to get a degree worth the risk? As humans, we are bounds to have different opinions. As always, it’s my opinion.