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Whether you’re starting to consider a doctorate, an undergraduate, or a master's degree, it’s first essential to identify the pros and cons of higher education. A milestone that’s not right for everyone, it’s vital that you sit down and work out the reasons behind why you want to complete the degree and whether it will benefit you in the long term.
The idea behind higher education that a lot of high school graduates do not grasp is that college is not a simple extension of any prior education. Attending college is not just a step up on the educational ladder, like grammar school to junior high to high school.
What sets the college apart is the very concept of it: it is a crossroads to something else, a limbo of not only education but exploration as well. Experience college as a winding road map destination: to know where it all leads to is beside the point. All the fun to be had is in getting there.
5 Pros and 5 Cons of Higher Education To Truly Consider
If you’re not aware of these, then it could be more difficult to make your final decision. To ensure that you’re on the right path, here are the top pros and cons of higher education that could assist with the process.
There are so many pros and cons of higher education to consider when you sit down to think about what degree program you are going to focus on.
5 Pros of higher education:
A Chance to Specialize in What You’re Interested in
If you have a passion for a particular subject or topic, then you’ll be able to specialize in it at university/college. With the tutoring of a professional in the field, you’ll learn the theory and context you need to thrive in the industry. Showcasing to employees that you followed your interest and bettered yourself, it will make you more employable.
You’ll Learn Valuable Life Skills
Alongside the skills that you’re learning surrounding your degree, you’ll also pick up valuable life skills along the way that will help you in life after university. From living independently to budgeting and taking care of your own place, it will ensure that you’re mentally ready for what the future holds.
Taking part in the dynamic of higher education is an opportunity that will you will carry with you for a lifetime, and everything that comes with the experiences. Being on your own at college helps you to learn responsibility, accountability, how to work with groups of people, how to work independently, and encourages time management and organizational skills.
It Will Increase Your Earning Potential
It’s no secret that everyone wants to earn as much money as possible. When it comes to completing your higher education, the earning potential is even greater. This is why you’ll be pleased to know that you can unlock higher earnings by doing a degree.
Although, of course, your salary will depend heavily on what profession you enter and which type of degree you have, the skills that you picked up during your degree will put you on the path to success. Improving your chances of climbing the ladder and gaining promotions within the workplace, it’s often one of the first things that employers look for when interviewing applicants.
You Can Make Lifelong Connections and Friends
When you get a higher education, you'll be able to meet new people – whether you’re living in the same dorm as them or they are on your course with you. As everyone will be in the same boat, you’ll be able to connect and share similar experiences. Many people stay in contact with those that they attend a university with for many years afterward.
As well as friends, it’s an ideal opportunity to make valuable connections that will come in handy in the future. For example, many universities plan employment fairs, tasters, and other events, in which you can talk to those within the industry, your lecturers, etc.
Through this, you’ll be able to attain contact information and give them the chance to get to know you – which may lead to future employment or other opportunities.
It Could Prepare You For A Specific Career
Many jobs will require a certain type of higher education degree, it could be from a trade school or a university. For example, to become a surgeon, you’ll need to go to university and complete further education afterward. If you’re looking to follow a specific career, the university is the time that you’ll pick up the skills and knowledge that you need.
Of course, a degree is also invaluable for those who aren’t sure what they want to do yet. Why? Because your degree might fit into a range of different jobs. For example, you might have done a Film degree. And although this is specialized, as it’s heavily English based (due to all of the essays), you could use your degree to attain several different roles, including as a Copywriter.
It Can Be Flexible
Whether you want to study online or spread your course over more than 3 years, many universities will allow this. This means that you can fit your studying into your lifestyle, without the pressures of having to attend it in person, every day for three or so years. This flexibility is very beneficial to many who don’t want to study in a conventional way.
5 Cons of Higher Education:
However, although there are several benefits that can come with completing a degree, there are also some cons that you should also consider before applying.
Let’s start with the obvious negative – the debt. Higher education is one of the most expensive things that you can do. Potentially costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s something that you’ll have to factor in before you attend.
Of course, the cost will depend on which degree you’re doing and the university that you’re attending. But it’s still a huge debt that you’ll have to pay back from the moment you graduate.
Throughout university, you’ll be responsible for completing your workload and studying for every exam. Because of this, you need to ensure that you’re fully committed to the program and prepared as possible for what’s about to come.
Alongside the coursework, assignments, and exams, you’ll also have to attend various seminars and lectures throughout the week. This demanding schedule is a lot for any student and something that causes a lot of stress throughout the years. Therefore, you must keep this in mind before you dive straight in at the deep end.
It’s a Long Process
Not only is it an intensive process, but it’s also lengthy. With degrees starting at 3 years and going up to 8-9 years if you’re thinking of doing an undergraduate degree, followed by masters and a doctorate (or if you attend medical school), it’s something that you’ll want to be certain of before you start.
You need to consider whether you’ll stay motivated during this time and if your love for the subject is strong enough to last that long. You don’t want to have to drop out because it was longer and more comprehensive than you first imagined after all.
Practical Experience Vs Theory
There’s no denying that when completing your degree, you’ll learn plenty of theories surrounding the subject that you’re studying. But unless you’re doing a very specialized degree, you might not gain any practical experience that you could take into the world of work following it.
Many graduates will apply for roles following their degree, only to find that they don’t have the practical experience needed to be considered for the position. Because of this, they might need to undertake unpaid internships or work placements. During this time, you won’t be able to earn any money – which could have been the start of you becoming more independent and moving away from home.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you as to whether higher education is right for you. It will also depend on whether you have the finances to pay for it and the determination to complete the degree. Nevertheless, it’s important that you thoroughly think about whether you’re suited for it before you apply for it and get started – otherwise you might be left with bitter feelings after you’ve graduated.
Now, no one is 100% prepared for what the university has to bring. But if you do your research, ask others that have been and discover the types of jobs that you’ll be able to access afterward, it will put you in a much better position from the start.