For: Why a college education is necessary

Bethany Doudna

Staff Writer

At one time or another, it is almost certain that the average college student will reconsider the decision to pursue a higher education. This may happen for some in the wee hours of the morning, with a paper due in a few hours; or perhaps it may happen in class or when checking one’s bank account. In spite of these understandable second guesses, however, the facts definitely point to the benefits of an academic degree outweighing the costs.

One of the more obvious advantages to getting a college education is the potential for advancement in a career. Even if it may seem at first that a degree is not necessary in a specific field, advancing further beyond an entry level job in that field may well require some sort of degree. For example, someone who is looking to advance from an entry level welding job to something higher up might be benefitted by a degree in engineering.

This may seem odd at first, but it is a fact that a college degree can be a huge benefit even to someone working in a field that does not specifically require one.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans over 25 who have a college education has been growing over the past 10 years. This means that the average American without a college education is likely to compete for jobs with other candidates who do have college educations.

Someone who does not have a college education may be at a serious disadvantage under these situations.

Even if a person should end up going into a completely different field than the one in which he or she majored, having an academic degree in one’s background will open the door to a wide range of possibilities.

For one thing, it signals to the potential employer that one has the intelligence, maturity, work ethic, respect for deadlines and other qualities that are implied by finishing college.

Even aside from the benefits to one’s future career, a higher education helps to shape the student into the best version of him or herself. Christ called us to become perfect, as his heavenly father is perfect. A considerable part of that involves growing in knowledge, and training one’s mental capabilities to their best.

Since one must know God in order to love him, and God makes himself known first through the physical world, it behooves the Christian to dive into academic learning as a pathway to God.

Though it is not a moral necessity, and certainly not a measure of personal holiness, proper attention to developing one’s mind can be a path to God. It shows gratitude to God for the opportunities and faculties that one has been given. Remember the parable of the talents, in which Jesus exhorted his listeners to develop their gifts and put to use what God had given them.

No one is saying that attaining a college degree is easy. In fact, few worthwhile things in life are easy. Putting in this extra effort at the beginning of one’s adult life will almost always bear fruit later on in life, and sincere effort made for the glory of God is never wasted.