The College Degree – An Entry Ticket and 2 Educations in 1…

Beth Koberman Beth Kobermann, Career Paths, Generations, Social Media

Want to see what weakness looks like?  The following excerpt is from a contributor on EmployeeEvolution.com:

The lie is simply this, “You can do anything you want so long as (sic) get a college
education.”… As if my naive ways weren’t bad enough, I also assumed it didn’t matter what you majored in… I had to learn the hard way the only guaranteed work right out of college comes for accountants and engineers, history majors need not apply. … Now I dwell in cube purgatory, waiting to be cleansed of the sin of believing in something so false for so long.”

I sincerely hope the author above is a drama queen, b/c life after college is NOT that bad. While I love my current job, my first job out of grad school  was…  well, let’s just say it didn’t live up to my expectations. But, if we’re being honest, what 1st job is ever what you expect it to be?

Did my 1st employer really need someone with my credentials to do the work I was doing? Umm…No. Did it give me experience to build my resume and, if anything, teach me what NOT to do?  You Betcha!  The truth is, I wouldn’t have even been interviewed for my 1st job, let alone my 2nd, or 3rd w/out my college degree(s). Depending on your career aspirations, you’ll need a college degree (& good grades) to get your foot in the door. Ideally, you’d want to earn a degree that aligns with your aspirations – otherwise it’s a waste of 4 years and $40K (minimum).

John Adams once said, “There are 2 educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.” Which brings me to my next point, the experience of going to college – parties & bar hopping included – is a real benefit of earning a college degree. Physically leaving home & going to college teaches you first and foremost how to be (ready for this) INDEPENDENT. With independence comes RESPONSIBILITY (ohhh, ahhhh). Lastly, college forces you to learn how to SOCIALIZE (that’s where the parties come in). Unless you moved a lot growing up, the last time you really exercised the art of making friends was the 1st grade. College forces you out of your comfort zone and teaches you how to network – a skill you will use for the rest of your life.

I know this isn’t mind blowing, but I truly feel that the full concept of college includes learning “how to live.” If you thought getting a college degree was all it took to land the job of your dreams – like my author friend from the excerpt – you too are sadly mistaken.  It takes a hell of a lot more than that. You MUST be Independent – not relying on others to guide or make choices for you, you MUST be Responsible – for your actions and your future, and you MUST have a Social network within your field of interest.

After all, it’s not just what you know, it’s who you know.