Argumentative essay: Is college education important?
The paper will be between 5 and 7 pages long, and should incorporate at least 5 sources. it must be argumentative – meaning, again, you’ll have to take a side on a controversial topic and devote your paper to substantiating your stance, with active incorporation of authoritative sources. I want to see not only you building your argument, but also actively rebutting the other side of the argument. So, essentially, I want to how you’ve developed your approach following your experiences with the argumentative essays, how you’ve progressed in choosing substantial sources for your work, and how you’ve strengthened your sense of structure, strong thesis statements, and development.
Argumentative essay: Is college education important?
Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Charles Culpepper, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Dave Thomas, David Green, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, just to name a few, are hugely successful, albeit without a college education. Mark Zuckerberg, for instance, dropped out of college to start Facebook, one of the most successful social media platforms today while Steve Jobs is the founder Apple, one of one of the most valued technology companies in the world. Their huge success, coupled with changing economic times that have rendered many college graduates jobless, or even doing work that doesn’t relate to their professions, have fuelled the discussion on the relevance of college education in modern times.
The most common arguments against college education are centered on the premise that there are not many jobs for college graduates as economic crises bite most nations and states. The high cost of college education, most of which is financed through students loans makes matters even worse. As of 2016, there were some 42 million Americans who owed close to $1.3 trillion in student debt, with a majority of them saying that college education was not worth it. In fact, close to 10% of all college graduates in the US graduate with a debt of over $40,000. Other arguments center on the issue of unemployment and under-employment, with statistics from the Bureau of labor statistics (2014) indicating that as of 2016, over 25 million college graduates worked in positions that did not require college education such as parking attendants, janitors, bartenders, taxi drivers etc.
While these arguments are valid, there are much stronger reasons why a college education is important and cannot be substituted. This paper takes the position that the advantages of going to college by far outdo the challenges facing college education. The section below supports this argument.
College graduates make more money
While it’s true that college education fees are exorbitant, statistics from the Labor department indicate that the average income for a college graduate was significantly higher compared to that of high school leavers. In 2016 for instance, the average income for a high school graduate was $35,615 that of bachelor degree holders was $65,482 while holders of advanced degrees averaged about $92,525. In 2011, the median income for a family that was headed by a college graduate was $100,096, which was more than double the income for those families headed by people with high school education (Carnevale, Smith & Strohl, 2016). Clearly, this indicates that in the longer run, college education graduates make a lot more money than high school graduates, net of the amounts spent to attain their education. Such statistics also serve as a stark reminder that while it’s true that there are a few characters that have made significant wealth and contribution to the society without proper education, the role of education in the growth and development of our societies still reigns supreme.
More jobs require college degrees now, more than ever before.
As the United States moved from the agrarian revolution and the
industrial revolution, more and more menial jobs were shed off in favor of
white collar jobs. Since the advent of what is commonly known as the service
revolution where more and more businesses are becoming service based, there has
been a key increase in the need for a college education to support these
sectors. In 2017 for instance, only 34% of American jobs require a high school
diploma or less, compared to approximately 72% in the 70’s, according to Bureau of Labor
Statistics (2014). According to a study carried out in June
2016, 99% of jobs growth in the last 6 years went to workers in possession of
college degrees, associate degrees or advanced level degrees. Job projections
by the University of Georgetown University, in 2018,
about 63% of all jobs in the US will require some degrees. Besides the above
statistics, it’s important to note that some professions strictly demand that
one must have a college education. Take medicine, for instance, there is not a
single medical doctor in the world without a college education. This means that
without a college education, some professions would be done with, at the dire
expense of the suffering population.
There are more and much better employment opportunities for college graduates
According to a 2015 survey, 85.2% of college freshman said that they were motivated to get a better job. A previous 2013 study noted that rate of unemployment for college graduates stood at 3.6% compared to about 5.0 % for holders of associate degrees while unemployment rate for high school graduates was 7.5% and 11.4% for high school dropouts (Autor & Price, 2013) This clearly indicates that contrary to popular belief that college education presents no real opportunities, on the contrary, college degrees present a myriad of opportunities for a better job, work environment and life in general. College degree holders, for instance, are more likely to seek employment opportunities outside their states or countries that would high school graduates or dropouts since there are more likely to be networked and with a greater world view than high school graduates who are less attractive and innovative.
Opportunity for learning other life skills such as interpersonal, communication and people skills
In the past, employers were mostly concerned about the academic papers for candidates and mostly technical know-how. As long as a candidate had met the minimum employment requirements, then they got hired. Interviews were merely a confirmation of the candidate’s technical ability to deliver in a given position. Modern human resource best practices go beyond that. Things have since changed, and employers are now more concerned about candidates attitude, personality and soft skills such as communication, teamwork, interpersonal and social skills (Deming, 2015). According to a recent employment study, employers explained that soft skilled ranked higher up than technical know-how in their recruitment process. College education curriculum presents many opportunities for a student to demonstrate and horn their skills in these areas which not only makes them highly innovative and employable but also makes them adaptable and generally responsible members of their societies.
Productive members of their society
Bieanan, the president of North Western University recently posited that college education results in “greater productivity, lower crime, better health, [and] better citizenship for more educated people’’ His arguments are supported by a 2009 study which found that high school dropouts were 63% more prone to engage in crime and be incarcerate than those with college education or higher. The bureau of Labor Statistics in 2008 reported that 43% of graduates did volunteer work compared to only 19% of high school graduates or the 27% reported for adults in general. These are indicators that the society generally stands to gain significantly if most of its population attained a basic college education.
College education presents opportunities beyond employment.
Colleges have presented opportunities for the formation of some of the best brands in the world today. While some of these founders may still have dropped out, such great ideas were mooted during their college years. This can be attributed to the fact that colleges serve as incubation centers for business ideas that can be transformed into life-changing innovations. The networks that students gain during their college years are also useful in their future lives.
Expansion of mental faculties
Education and especially higher education expands ones, mental faculties. Some of the best thinkers, engineers, doctors must have at least college education. The more educational opportunities that one has, the more skills and knowledge they are likely to obtain. College education exposes students to a variety of people, experiences, topics and challenges. This leads to growth in areas such as reasoning, expression, decision making, analytical skills, and creativity. It also provides an opportunity to socialize, network and make new friends. This enables them to embrace diversity and mature in their cultural perspectives. These are necessary life skills and lessons that are scarce to most people with little education levels.
Carnevale,A.P, Smith, N & Strohl, J (2016) Recovery: Jobs growth and education requirements through 2020. Center on education and the Workforce. Available at: https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Recovery2020.ES_.Web_.pdf
Bureau of labor statistics (2014) Education level and jobs: Opportunities by the state. Retrieved from: https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2014/article/education-level-and-jobs.htm
Autor, D. H & Price, B. (2013). The changing task composition of the US labor market: An update of Autor, Levy, and Murnane (2003), MIT Working Paper, June.
Deming, D. J. (2015). The growing importance of social skills, NBER Working Paper 21473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.
Huffingpost (2016) Just How Important Is A College Education These Days?. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabrielle-pfeiffer/just-how-important-is-a-c_b_11437210.html
College education is an important and controversial topic in today’s society. On one hand, some argue that a college degree is essential for success in today’s job market, as it can provide access to higher paying and more fulfilling careers. Others argue that the high cost of tuition and student loan debt make it difficult for many individuals to justify the investment in a college degree. In this paper, I will argue that college education is indeed important, and that the benefits of earning a degree far outweigh the costs.
One of the main arguments in favor of college education is that it can lead to higher paying jobs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the median annual earnings for individuals with a bachelor’s degree were $65,482 in 2019, compared to just $38,376 for those with only a high school diploma. This is a significant difference, and it demonstrates the potential for higher earning potential with a college degree. Additionally, college graduates are more likely to have access to a wider range of career opportunities, as many jobs now require at least a bachelor’s degree.
Another argument in favor of college education is that it can provide a more fulfilling career. Many college graduates report higher levels of job satisfaction, as they are able to pursue careers that align with their interests and passions. In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 75% of college graduates reported that their current job was “very meaningful” or “somewhat meaningful,” compared to just 45% of those with only a high school diploma. This suggests that college education can lead to more fulfilling and satisfying careers.
There are also numerous personal and societal benefits to college education. For example, college graduates tend to be more civically engaged and involved in their communities, as they have been exposed to a variety of perspectives and ideas through their education. College education can also lead to improved mental and physical health outcomes, as it has been linked to lower rates of obesity, smoking, and substance abuse.
While it is true that college education can be expensive, the long-term benefits of earning a degree far outweigh the costs. For example, the average return on investment for a bachelor’s degree is 14%, which means that the average college graduate will earn $1.4 million more over the course of their lifetime than someone with only a high school diploma. Additionally, there are numerous financial aid options available to help students pay for college, including scholarships, grants, and loans.
Of course, it is important to note that college is not for everyone, and there are many successful individuals who have not pursued a traditional four-year degree. However, for those who are able to attend college, the benefits of earning a degree are significant and long-lasting. In conclusion, college education is an important investment in one’s future, and the benefits far outweigh the costs.