- Perception: Hiring managers went and find value in the undertaking. If you want a traditional career, especially in a white-collar, knowledge-based profession, you need the fancy piece of paper.
- Reality: High schools simply can’t arm you with enough skills to compete in today’s global workforce. Again, this comment is primarily focused on those who want a traditional career, working in the private sector for someone else. I know plenty of self-made business owners, craftsman, designers, and civil service employees who do fine without a degree. Though in fairness most have undergone specialized training that would make college seem like a walk in the park.
For many people college still makes sense. The real question is, whether an advanced degree is worth the time and money. The answer is likely no unless you plan to pursue a profession that requires it such as law, medicine, or teaching.
Another thing to keep in mind is top-tier schools aside, most employers don’t care about where you went and fewer still will inquire about your GPA. Some hiring managers will be interested in your choice of major and the rationale behind the decision so be prepared to explain your decision-making process. For example, while some may have selected a major based on a desire for personal growth and learning (not bad things mind you) others based their decision on what would maximize their lifetime earning potential. There’s no right answer. Just know where you stand and be able to articulate what you learned from the overall experience.
Given the cost of college it’s only prudent that you leave with an employable skill set. If I had it to do over, I’d double down on the finance and technology courses and read the Elizabethan Poetry on my own time.
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