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Society needs to stop downplaying the benefits of a college degree.

Ketia Valme || Sunday June 19, 2022 || 9:06 AM EST


Before you continue reading, I need you to take a deep breath and readjust your emotions because I need you to take this on with an open mind.


We are lying to ourselves when we resent the importance of a college degree because, for one, society is undergoing more hardship as time progresses. After multiple convos with Gen X/Boomers, it is undeniable that we are running a society that is harder than theirs was. I was caught up on the Jubilee: Middle Ground "Gen Z vs. Boomers" episode, where Boomer participant, Bill, reminded one of his fellow Boomers that "The world that our children are coming into it's not nearly as easy" to navigate as theirs was. Gen Z vs Boomers: Is "OK Boomer" Ageist? | Middle Ground They were raised in a society where hard work did really get people far –whereas today, a lot of hard work goes unnoticed because Gen Z wasn't granted "those guarantees" that they were. Yes, it is easier to go unnoticed in a society with so much competition and restricting social identities that do not allow minorities the fair tools to compete. 


 


Education tends to be critical for acceptance in this capitalist world that we are surviving. Although it's not a fair tool for the billions who can't afford it. Still, it's not fair to downplay the validation it plays on one's career because then we are lying to the upcoming generation who will grow up to soon realize its benefits. 


 


I bring up this conversation because it is an ongoing debate between Gen Z-ers, and as someone who used to side with the "College is a waste of time" crowd, I've grown to realize the purpose it plays in our adulthood. For example, during another Jubilee: Middle Ground episode where the discussion was between ivy league and community college students; the statement "it's who you know more than what you know" raised an inclusive conversation on how what we are paying for isn't the education, but more so the connections we are building within the years.


Ivy League vs Community College: Which Education Is Better? | Middle Ground


 This prompts my second point in reminding us that the people we meet matter. It matters because the people you surround yourself with affect your future for better or for worse. It's essential to immerse yourself in groups of people with the same career goals as you –and where better to find them than at a college? It's important to go out of your comfort zone and keep an open mind to people who think completely different from you; that skill that college forces students to inherit is necessary for our society. 


As grown as the term "career" may sound, it's undeniably a reality in adulthood. 65% of jobs have raised their requirements to either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree –creating a big obstacle for people who don't have the privilege of a college education and those who continuously neglect its importance.


recovery: job growth and education requirements through 2020 | EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


 Finding a passion and pursuing an education within that path opens doors to a stable career, decreasing unemployment and financial tribulations. A college degree paves the way for a road with one less restriction. It allows people a fresh and compelling way to learn the necessary skills for success. 


 


There's a lot of bias within the stigma around college degrees. People tend to degrade its importance because it's hard to find a job within specific careers after graduation. For instance, a Criminal Justice career has a higher and faster hire rate because it is a broad field, whereas it's harder to kick start a Creative Writing career right off the bat due to the unique steps that need to be taken. Thin informs that some things are to be considered while studying a major; Do you love the career path that you're on? Does it open tremendous opportunities for you? Does it teach you new skills? Are you willing to endure the extra work it will take to fulfill that career path that you love? Initiating these conversations is a gateway to gaining assurance on your career goals and provides clarity throughout your journey that will definitely pay off over time. 


 


Nevertheless, what I'm initiating is accountability. Keeping yourself accountable for personal choices and what they bring is vital to the future. A college degree matters in our chaotic modern-day society because it allows more validation within career building and provides the necessary skills to take part in the journey. 


 


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