One can hear the chant, “College isn’t for everyone” ring loud from the lips of entrepreneurial startups and multi-platinum recording artists worldwide. Though the rejection of a college education has become a seemingly fleeting trend like rubber-laden crocs and Suzanne Somers’ Thighmaster, it has not yet convinced America’s students to give up on the dream of earning a college diploma.
According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in a study projecting job growth from 2010 – 2020, half of the 20 fastest growing occupations fall into the associate degree or higher category. Research performed by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that approximately 63 percent of jobs created by 2018 will require a college degree. The demand for postsecondary education has also expanded with the growth of the technology sector, which requires its workers to possess top-level skills. Furthermore, this trend continues in other industries where organizations of all sizes are slowly realizing the need for degree recipients.
Even amidst the overwhelming data, the “College is not for everyone” crowd still has a “leg to stand on.” With poor-quality schools invading the education sector and high tuition costs edging out even some middle class students from earning diplomas, the climate has shifted tremendously. Furthermore, the sluggish economy hasn’t made it any easier for college graduates to land competitive jobs even if they possess high grades and shiny new degrees.
Yet, amidst the controversy, experts still agree that the economy will grow and the trends will continue to favor college degrees as a requirement to join America’s elite workforce. Though the plight of the passionate entrepreneur will always be encouraged, most students are not willing to work long hours, overcome financial hurdles, and undergo failure after failure just to hopefully land an idea. Many prefer stability even if an unstable economy is one hurdle to overcome. They prefer to enlarge their capacity for learning instead of investing time into the narrow possibility of future riches.
Aside from career goal fulfillment, many adults are earning their degrees and joining their young counterparts. The growing trend shows that people of all ages from 20s to their 80s are pursuing knowledge and a higher level of fulfillment. For middle-aged students, learning represents a potential transition into a new career or the attainment of a higher level of knowledge for advancement in their current occupations.
Retirees view education as an entirely different animal. Lifelong workers who turned in their labor hats are finding renewed fulfillment learning new skills that give them enjoyment in their senior years. Colleges and universities welcome retired students and many offer tuition waivers and scholarship programs. Additionally, seniors who have physical limitations or reservations about attending youth-filled classes find satisfaction taking online courses from the comfort of their own homes.
Though college may not be for everyone, the entrepreneurial lifestyle is also not a choice many would select. For this reason, students of all ages are realizing their passions and fulfilling their goals by advancing their education—a dynamic most would argue is a nice way to live. Article Courtesy of Southern New Hampshire University’s Online College Degree Programs