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Friday, 30 May 2014 11:44

Relevance of Higher Education Featured

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Relevance of Higher Education


Higher education refers to education acquired at universities, colleges and institutes of technology. It also refers to education that is acquired at college-level institutions. Vocational school and career colleges are alternative examples of such types of institutions where students can receive higher education. Students acquire higher education after completing their secondary/high school educations. It is the desire for most high school students to join their dream college. Traditionally, children have been trained to believe that a good education equals to a good life in the future.


With this in mind, high school students worked hard to go to college. Traditionally, it was a guarantee that students who went to college had a better life than those who did not go to college. Unfortunately, such perceptions have begun to fail as more students being to perceive higher education as not so important. Higher education is essential to all students as it helps them create a platform that they can later use to determine their future life.


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In the past, children were advised to read hard, excel in their studies and go to college. An entrance to college would mean that the student’s life would be bright as opportunities will be available. Unfortunately, today, the relevance of higher education continues to dwindle as students embrace the idea that higher education is indeed not necessary. Students are no longer motivated to join colleges and universities to further their studies. The success of college dropouts such as bill Gates (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Steve Job (Apple Inc), Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines) and Gabe Newell (Valve Corporation) has further instilled in most students the desire to pursue their dreams without first seeking a college degree (Toby, 2012).


 The above mentioned billionaires are among hundreds of other successful businessmen that dropped out of prestigious universities such as Harvard to pursue their dream careers, and succeeded. Similarly, students argue that there are numerous famous celebrities and notable figures that have successes without a college education. Notables such as Abraham Lincoln and Henry Ford, as well as celebrities such as Will smith, Simon Conwell and Halle Berry, did not go to college, and they are very successful today (Allen, 2007).


The growing perception, among students that higher education is not compulsory is detrimental to a person’s well being, as well as the overall economy of the country.The famous celebrities, politicians and entrepreneurs that have become millionaires despite the lack of a college degree represent a small fraction of the millions of citizens who will need a college degree so as to excel in life. It is a fact that not everyone has the genius mind of establishing a business that can rise to become a multi-billion industry. Similarly, times have changes, and whereas it was easy to survive on odd job in the past, it is currently very difficult. Most of the billionaires who did not attend college began their career by doing odd jobs so as to survive (Schmidt, 2011).


Currently, the economic status of the country is harsh and with high rates of unemployment, accessing even the odd jobs would be difficult. Higher education is very important to a person undertaking it, as well as the society that he resides in.There are several strategies that can be adopted to mitigate the rise of such a dangerous mentality among children.  First, societies should embark on a public awareness effort to encourage high school students to study towards achieving college qualification and attending college. College undergraduates, at the community level, would be selected and paired with high school students from schools across the community. The undergraduate students would acts as mentors and coaches to the high school students. The undergraduates would also acts as advisors to high school students.


  The undergraduate would advice students on available course and the market viability of existing courses, selection and admission processes, as well as means of seeking financial assistance. Colleges should also provide accessible financial aid and work study options to students who are at risk of not attending college due to financial constraints. Most students from poor families are guaranteed education up to high school level. After high school, most never study any further due to lack of funds. It is time colleges, universities and vocational training institution provide students with financial assistance. Colleges must present students with scholarship and federal aid options. The presence of these options gives high school students adequate incentives to consider going to college.


In most instances, students that find college education irrelevant are pushed by factors such as financial constraints. The reality that college education will not be provided make such students accept the reality and believe that it is not necessary (Toby, 2012).. Lastly colleges and universities should revise their entry points so as to make the reality of joining college a reality. The high entrance point’s means that most students are turned away from their dream colleges universities and colleges can provide students with entry points that are lower than they currently stand. Similarly, states can construct more community colleges. Community colleges provide students who have not performed so well, with an alternative and affordable study option.


Higher education is Important

A diploma is now a standard prerequisite in most organizations. Employers now believe that higher education provides employees with not only professional education, but also essential social skills that can be utilized at the workplace. Higher education provides students with social skills as they get to interact with their peers. Similarly, the spirit of teamwork is further cemented in colleges as students undertake assignments in groups. Students who embrace higher education are able to interact and understand diverse cultures. The ability to interact with diverse cultures prepares students to the professional world where interaction with diverse cultures is unavoidable (Gora, 2013). In contrast, students who do not receive college/university education might learn the ropes of his job at the work place, but lack adequate social skills. The risk of narrow mindedness is high among employees who have not attended college/university.


This is because of the minimal level of exposure compared to students with college/university qualifications.Students who lack college/university qualification have minimal life and career opportunities compared to students who have college qualifications.  The risk with having a majority of the populace without college qualifications is that opportunities for career growth and life development may be available, but the populace lacks qualifications to fill those jobs. In college, students get to be exposed to different courses and units that they can specialize and use to acquire jobs. Unfortunately, for most high school graduates the only jobs available are menial jobs.


Similarly, the room for career advancement is minimal as the student cannot compete with his qualified colleagues. The ability of a college student to advance in his career also means that the college graduate has a higher chance of getting well paying jobs that the students who did not pursue his education beyond high school. According to the US census bureau a college graduate earns a minimum of $54000 annually compared to $ 30000 earned by an employee with a high school diploma. The disparity in salary occurs because of the diverse opportunities that the college graduate has over the high school diploma employee (Kissel, 2013) 


A majority of individuals with high school diplomas, as their highest level of academic qualifications, struggle in life compared to those with college qualifications. High school education enables a person to improve his overall life. This is because the person has a high chance of  not only getting a good job, but also has the means to access better healthcare services in times of illness. Similarly, a high income means that the person has access to better dietary nutrition, better health practices and greater economic stability and security. Overall, a person with a college diploma has a higher chance of achieving overall life satisfaction than a person with only a high school diploma.  


With only a high school diploma, it is likely that the person will struggle from the first day (Mangan, 2013). This is contrast to the person with college qualifications as his likelihood of getting a job soon after college is high. However, for a holder of a high school diploma, access to well paying jobs will be difficult.  The only option to success for most college dropouts and those with high school diplomas is to venture into business and entrepreneurship and hope that the business thrives to success.Most students who fail to go to college do so because of environmental influences. The most susceptible students are students form low income areas. These students are influenced to believe that education beyond high school is not mandatory.


The culture of hustling so as to survive is instilled, in such children when they are as young as ten years old. Unfortunately, the belief in such mentality results to increased desire to abandon school and hustle. Similarly, children who do not desire to attend school are often influenced by the fact that their friends, relatives or even parents did not attend college, but still made it in their lives. Some students are raised in families where no one has ever attended college. The motivation to study beyond college is, therefore, very low. Such students, however, need to realize that, despite the fact that no one in their family has ever attended college, they can set the pace for change. Students need not fit into family practices that are obsolete.


Whereas it was easy for parents to stop studying after high school and still lead a decent lifestyle, it is currently difficult to do so (Toby, 2012). Times have changed, and those with minimal levels of education are disadvantaged in society. Whereas it may not be easy to convince some parents and relatives why pursuing further education it important, it is vital to try and convince them of the need for college education so as to increase chances of leading better lives than they did. As seen in earlier discussions, education significantly improves a person’s life (Gora, 2013). Some high school students argue that they cannot attend college because they cannot fit. The element of fitting in, or not arises when students perceive themselves to be different from the rest.


Students from minority groups, for instance, may fear that their unique status may put them at a disadvantage to the rest of students. However, students should realize that the pursuit of education does not discriminate. In fact, college and universities comprise of leading places where cultures and people from diverse continents meet. It is impossible not to fit in, in college. Similarly, students should realize that colleges admit students in their thousands (Schmidt, 2011). A student from a minority group e.g. an African will be admitted among thousands of other students from other cultures.


Critics, however, argue that higher education is one of the American products that are highly overrated. They argue that performance in high school plays a crucial role in determining whether a student will excel in college or not. A student who may have been underperforming in high school will perform even worse when forced to go to college (Vaughan, 2005). The levels of education becomes complex as a student sores higher in the education scale.It is, therefore, likely that the student will pass through college with very weak scores, or worse a fail.


In the end, such a student will have wasted approximately four years of his life that he could have otherwise invested in a practical course that prepares him for careers that he is gifted in. the four years in college would be a waste because the students will have performed so dismally that the college certificate cannot be used for professional purposes such as education. Exceedingly poor performance in college has seen students drop out mid-studies having earned little or nothing at all from their college education. Unfortunately, such students who realize they are not meant for college/university education make this realization when it is too late. There are often left in debt, their self esteem destroyed, and their plans devastated by the realization that they have to start planning their future from scratch (Vaughan, 2005).


The perception that there are some people not suitable for college education is wrong. College education is suitable for all. The essential factor is to determine the ideal course to undertake. Even the brightest students risk failure if they select courses that they are not familiar with (Allen, 2007). Students should ensure that they select courses that tally with their interests, future career expectation, as well as their abilities. Similarly, other than the mainstream public universities, there are various community colleges that students with any result can enroll and study.


 Conclusion

Higher education is mandatory to all students despite their social and economic status. Higher education is education that is pursued beyond high school. High school prepares students for further learning in universities and colleges. It is essential, therefore, that students complete their students to university levels.  University education provides students with social and professional benefits. Socially, students get to interact with other cultures where they learn to appreciate and co-exist with them. Professional academic education taught at universities prepares students with essential critical and logical skills needed for their preferred profession. There might be a few persons who excel without university education, but a majority others live in misery and are constantly faced with life’s hardships. 


Reference

Allen, H. (2007). Why is higher education important? Retrieved from http://www.crosswalk.com/family/homeschool/why-is-higher-education-important-1367463.html?ps=0

Gora, Joann M. in the Hoosier state, a cause for cautious optimism. Presidency 15.1 (2012): 36-40.

Kissel, Adam. Will Universities Rediscover Their Core Mission As They Shrink? Academic Questions 24.4 (2011): 429-437.

Mangan, K. Report Calls For Renewed Focus On College Completion. Chronicle of Higher Education 59.21 (2013): A9. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.

Schmidt, Peter. "In Push for Diversity, Colleges Pay Attention to Socioeconomic Class." Chronicle of Higher Education 57.5 (2010): B5-B7.

Toby, J. (2012). The lowering of higher education in American. Transaction book

Vaughan, George B., and John MacDonald. "(Over) Selling the Community College: What Price Access? Chronicle of Higher Education 52.10 (2005): B12-B14.


 

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