Good morning! Yes I’ve been gone for a while and I just couldn’t find any inspiration. It doesn’t help that I’ve been extremely busy, but I’m back. These past few months, I’ve been trying to expand my writing repertoire by trying to write op-ed pieces for various media outlets. I thought I had an in with Forbes. My piece was approved at first, but then it fell through the cracks. I’m still somewhat bitter about that, but at the end of the day there are always going to be setbacks in life. You can either sit there and lament the loss of an opportunity, or you can always make another one. Anyways, I’m going to post what I wrote for Forbes on here. It’s pretty informative and I feel like it gives an interesting perspective into modern education.
What if I told you that going to college could potentially hinder your chances to be able to live a good life? 10 years ago, that statement would have been laughed at, even considered blasphemous. But, as we’re entering the second decade of the 21st century, many young adults are working hard to achieve excellence in college and receiving their diplomas all to have their toil rewarded by an invitation to move back in with their parents while they work an entry level job and struggle to pay off debt. The harsh reality is that simply having an undergraduate college degree does not necessarily ensure “success”.
When I was growing up, like many of my peers, we always heard similar variations of this statement, “Make sure you go to college so you can get your degree and get a good job.” As a result, when I decided to attend my current university, I came in with the mindset of simply graduating to receive a good job. It seemed like everyone was on the ball and receiving internships from the top companies. It appeared that simply being over involved and having an astronomical GPA would be my ticket to success and abounding riches.
As I matriculated through college, however, those same people that I saw getting premium internships, involved in all of the college organizations, and were seemingly the best students actually ended up graduating and being stuck in entry level jobs at these top companies. While acquiring these jobs is a plus, unfortunately many graduates do not advance past the entry level. At first I could not comprehend.
When I finally obtained a summer internship of my own, my eyes were opened. Jobs reward people who are simply good at what they do, not for what organizations they belonged to, what school they attended, how much they paid for that degree or what their GPA was in college.
Even more horrifying was that I saw how little college had prepared me thus far to live life. There was really little correlation between what was being taught in the hallowed halls of education and what was occurring in the work office corridors. People skills trumped GPA every time.
It is already a given that attending top universities typically saddles the average college graduate with a good amount of debt. But, what makes the debt even more unfortunate is that the average college graduate has accrued over $100,000 in debt and typically starts out with a job paying between $30,000 and $40,000 a year. With the current unemployment rate at almost 10%, the college graduate is at a disadvantage to obtain a job, or negotiate for higher pay if fortunate enough to get a job. We thought the whole idea behind getting in debt to obtain a degree was to give us an advantage when we graduate to score a job with a high salary, and high enough to pay off those college loans and be able to buy a house and purchase a car.
This begs the question, if college is no longer adequately accomplishing those objectives, shouldn’t the whole university system be overhauled? Our current economy is not very forgiving. This means that recent college graduates do not have the time or resources to learn from their mistakes like generations before them. They need to be prepared to hit the ground running for fear of forever being behind in their life goals. Of course college does not guarantee riches, but at the very least it should be able to say that it was able to prepare students for all of the potential benefits and pitfalls of adult life.