How important is it for students to go on to college after graduating high school? This article calls the idea that college is a “path to prosperity” a myth, and cites several statistics which seem to show that college is not a sure thing.
The article goes on to argue that the focus should be on making students “life ready” instead:
So what should it be? Life ready! We should be focusing on helping every child develop a life plan. Not college plan, not a career plan, a life plan. So you want some evidence? Look at this.
I was raised with the notion that I should go to college, and successfully earned a degree in Journalism from Central Michigan University. Did my college degree lead me into a publishing career? No, not exactly. My first job right after college was with an internet service provider where I spent two years designing websites for clients. Other than the 1-credit class on using Frontpage to create websites that I took during a summer session at CMU, I was self-taught when it came to designing websites.
It was back in 2002 when I mentioned to my manager at the time how little my college degree seemed to matter, and she replied that it really didn’t matter that much at all. In that stage of my career–I was working my third job in web design–it was my practical, on-the-job experience which mattered the most.
But, my understanding of how the world works, and how things worked for me, was that a person can’t achieve their dreams without a college degree. Most of the jobs that I’ve worked have required a college degree of one form or another, so I’m fairly certain that there wouldn’t have been as many doors opened to me if I hadn’t spent the four years at CMU.
Was I life ready when I left college? I don’t believe so. But, I don’t know if anything could have prepared me for what life had in store those first few years after graduating from CMU: marriage, fatherhood, job loss, and unemployment.
What is your view of the “Life Ready” vs. “College Ready” debate? Should one take precedence over the other, or should they be considered equally important? Were you Life Ready when you left college?