If you’re graduating high school and have managed to keep decent grades, your time as a student is likely far from over. These days, you’re expected to go to college. Your friends are doing it, your siblings are doing it, and your parents did it. As society has progressed, more and more people are furthering their educations as evidenced by the increasing enrollment of students in America’s colleges. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment of students age 24 and younger increased by 33 percent between 1997 and 2007. Overall, enrollment at American degree-granting institutions increased by 26 percent – that growth outpaced the 14 percent increase that occurred between 1987 and 1997.
So why has college become such a necessity? The most obvious reason is job placement. Many desirable and fulfilling careers tend to require advanced training and knowledge related to the field. A college degree shows that you posses the aptitude to perform successfully because you have studied the topic in-depth under the guidance of professors. For example, engineering majors become familiar with advanced principles of science and math so they can better solve technical problems related to electrical or mechanical devices. Broadcast TV majors learn the rules of script writing, shooting and editing film, and the ethical procedures that must be followed by credible journalists. Once you’ve acquired some skills, opportunities are given to gain professional experience through internships, which could lead to full-time employment after graduation. Career Services departments provide you with resources like job databases. Many help you prepare for the search by offering tutorials in resume writing and interview etiquette. Your program might also host networking nights that allow you to mingle with professionals who are well-established in your field, and could be hiring in the future.
The education gained during college is invaluable. You get read books from distinguished authors and listen to lectures from experts in their fields. Newly acquired analytical and critical thinking skills allow you to view topics in a different light. You become more curious and observant, and thus able to process a variety of new information. You discover who you are – your strengths, your weaknesses and your convictions. As a result, you become more confident in yourself, and what you can achieve in the future is limitless.