Should people go to college? 5 ideas for, 5 ideas against
1. For: To land a job (that really requires a degree)
If you are hoping to get a job in a career that really NEEDS a university degree, then you have to go and study at college. For careers such as medicine, law or engineering, sadly there's no way around this! However if you're pursuing a career that doesn't necessarily need a degree, you really need to think hard about going.
2. For: To meet interesting people from around the world.
University can be an exciting place, and allows you to meet people from around the world with wildly differing interests and backgrounds. For instance, in my first year I lived with a pilot, a doctor, a nanotechnologist, an accountant and an art student. That's the kind of exciting mix you just don't get in your small hometown!
3. For: To meet lifelong friends and contacts
Often the people that you meet at university become lifelong friends as you spend so much time with them on this exciting journey together.
4. For: To transition to adulthood
Going to university can act as a hybrid step towards living alone and standing on your own two feet, where you gain some small independence.
5. For: To have a great time!
Yes, you are there to study, but it can't be denied that these will be some of the best days of your life. It's a great time to work hard and play hard.
6. Against: Debt
Now more than ever, going to college is an expensive route to get a job. Do you really want to be paying this off for many years because you fancied partying for a few years or couldn't think what else to do with your life at that particular moment?
7. Against: Culture change
When I was young, going away to university was just the done thing. At high school we were told that if we had half a brain and had any slight ambition, we had to go to university or we'd struggle in life. Looking back, this was terrible advice for most young people. However now, I don't think as much emphasis is placed on going to university by whatever means possible. My advice to young people now is: don't rush into it, time time to think if you really need/want to go and whether your desired career really needs that college degree.
8. Against: Free education!
There's never been a better time in history to learn for free (or very cheaply). Youtube, social media and websites can teach you lots of useful skills that can help land you a great career.
9. Against: Delaying the inevitable
For some people, and I knew quite a few, going to university was just a way to avoid the world of work for a few more years because they had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives. Many people I know now have moved into areas of work totally unassociated with their college degree, and are in jobs that don't require a degree at all!
10. Against: Pay and experience setback
Compared to people who'd gone into employment straight from school, people who went to university had missed out on a few years pay and experience. Sometimes this is easily overtaken after you gain a degree, but not always. Plenty of people have had very good and well-paid careers after avoiding university and working their way up in companies.