There are many things that affect our future, and college is one of those. College education or a college degree helps play a critical role in our lives. More and more jobs are requiring their employees to obtain a college degree. Our world is, unfortunately, slanted towards those who have attended college. HHS Junior Kennedy Evans states, “I think that there are some jobs that you don’t have to have a college degree for, but I think that if you want a better paying job you have to have a college degree.” Evans is right. Employers are more likely to pay those who have gotten a college degree a higher salary than those who haven’t obtained one. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, college graduates earn an average of 61% more than non-college graduates.” Still, we need to consider the question: is a college degree always necessary for one to have a successful future?
There are some jobs that do not require a college degree, such as retail sales, digital marketing, real estate, skilled trades and cosmetology. These are remotely good-paying jobs. So there are options for those who either can’t afford the high-priced college option or don’t have the time or the interest. Consider that some of America’s richest people dropped out of college. “Bill Gates left Harvard after two years to found Microsoft. He left the Ivy League school during his sophomore year in 1975,” comments the Business Insider online. Bill Gates is now worth 132 billion dollars. He is the third richest person in the world. And he’s not the only one; consider Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Uber founder Travis Kalanick. “These billionaires dropped out of a wide variety of schools, from Harvard to UCLA to The City College of New York.”
Schools continually promote the college-necessity story line. This mentality has caused many people to think that college is the only option, but this is not true. This idea is promoted at a young age and fostered. Junior McKenzie Conger says, “Even from elementary school we have been hearing that college is the place we should go after high school. As a co-owner of a coffee shop, I don’t want or need to go to college. Now that I am a junior, I am still constantly hearing that college is the only thing we need to focus on.”
Instead of saying that college is the only option, as a society, we need to emphasize to younger and school-age children that college is not the only option. Yes, college education is essential for some jobs, but it is not the only possibility. The more we tell kids to follow their dreams, with or without a college degree, the more success they will experience in whatever path they choose. College may be the right path for some people, but it is not the right road for everyone.