What’s The Purpose Of College?

from Forbes

Many Americans have begun to ask whether college is worth it. And who’s to blame them? With college tuition rising at astronomical levels, it’s reasonable to think prospective consumers will do a more careful “return on investment” calculation. But instead of asking whether it’s worth it, we’d be better off asking a different question: what’s the purpose of college? Without nailing this answer, it’s impossible to discern whether it will be or was worth it. Even more importantly, being clear about the purpose of college also helps us make the most of it.

The problem is that our national narrative about “college” has created a decidedly false dichotomy between the two primarily professed purposes of college. There is the camp that says college is about preparing a person for work – to help them get a good or better job. In fact, this is by far the most commonly cited reason for why Americans value higher education– to get a good job. The other camp says college is about more broadly preparing a person for success in life – to be an engaged and enlightened citizen capable of thinking critically and communicating clearly, ultimately able to thrive in their well-being. Make no mistake, many of us see the purpose of college as both a job-driven and a life-driven purpose. But our dialogue is horribly stuck in the muck of an either/or debate on these two fronts.

It’s time to end the either/or debate and embrace the reality that college’s purpose is both. College is about both preparing people for a job (and helping them advance their careers and earnings) and to thrive in their overall lives. Findings from a Gallup-Bates College study released today give us convincing evidence of the importance of both/and – as well as point us toward an improved framework for thinking about the purpose of college. What if the purpose of college is finding one’s own, individual purpose? And what if achieving this is critically linked to finding purposeful work? Here are the study highlights:

More here.

, , ,

72 Responses to What’s The Purpose Of College?

  1. Halli Schwartz October 17, 2019 at 12:16 pm #

    Where are you going to college? What are you studying? What are your plans for after you graduate? These are just some of the seemingly endless questions that I, as well as many college students receive on almost a daily basis. The real question one could ask is the title of the article, “What’s The Purpose of College?” The article discusses an issue that has been discussed a lot lately, is college worth it. There are two sides to the issue, those who believe college is worth it, and those who do not. The writer of the article discusses that the main discussed purposes of a college education are to get a job or to gain some sort of success by knowledge gained in a collegiate environment. However, the author believes that the purpose of college is both of these things. One needs both knowledge and job skills, and college can allow for this to occur for someone. Graduates of college agree with this, and value that they have gained skills for the workplace and other knowledge that can be useful in real life. So what is the purpose of college? It is to allow students to gain purposeful knowledge for the workplace and for life in general. When I was reading this article, a lot of it resonated with me. When starting college, I really believed that I was going to get a good job. When looking at schools, I made sure to choose one that I knew would get me the connections and knowledge to obtain a great job after graduation. I didn’t really believe that anything else that I learned could assist me in my future in any way. Through my studies, however, I realized that I could have both. I have learnt so much that has helped me in my career path. I have made so many connections that I know will assist me in my job search in the future. I have also gained knowledge in other things that I know I will use not only in my career but in my life in general. I think that college was important for me and my career path, but I also think that the purpose of college depends on what you make of it. For me, it has been career oriented because of the steps I have taken for it to be that way. For others, it shapes them as a person first, and then guides them in their future. Overall, I think college is important for the right person, and no matter what the purpose, it helps a person learn and grow as a worker and as a person in general.

  2. Victoria Balka October 17, 2019 at 2:14 pm #

    Being a college student, I often find myself questioning what the purpose of college is and what is the purpose of taking these classes that have nothing to do with what I want to do in life. I know the feeling of not knowing what you want to do with your life and if you have a life purpose is questioned by a lot of different college students. While most students will say they are in college in order to get a good job, there should be more said since the cost of a college education may not be near the worth of getting a job out of high school and working your way up. Another purpose of college is to expand the student’s knowledge and make them prepared to work and face challenges in the real world. Often in the classes not related to the college students major, they are there to help the student understand how to handle situations they may face in the workplace that do not relate to their major. Colleges often make money by telling students that they need degrees and to take these classes in order to be successful in life. The idea that students must go to college is forced on them in high school by people telling them that they will not be successful unless they get a college degree.
    I believe that in order for a student to determine if college is really worth it for them, they need to calculate the cost and how much their wanted job is expected to pay them. If they find they can get a job that will make then fulfilled in life without needing to get a college degree, maybe the student should choose to skip college and go right into the workforce instead. I also feel for students to fully get the full advantage of college they must go into school knowing what they want to do with their lives and that the job will make them feel fulfilled in their lives. While college exists to help students succeed in their professional lives, it is also to help them succeed in their lives outside of work and that is extremely important to understand when debating if college is worth it or not.

  3. Samuel Kihuguru October 17, 2019 at 6:34 pm #

    Brandon Busteed tells a convincing narrative of how we should view our investment in college – not as a division between obtaining good work and engaging someone to be an enlightened citizen capable of critical thinking and communicating clearly, but a basket encompassing both fruits. The distinction he makes is that graduates value both purpose and work – and in fact, find the most purpose in and from work. My opinion on the subject matter has been tiered more towards the idea that college contributes to the value of education and exposure to a variety of skills and resources that inform our human development; as a source for good work, it fails in its challenging the purpose of several 1-2 year vocational schools geared towards full employment and fulfilling work in a trade that could be earned at an incredible fraction of the latter’s cost. Busteed tells us that we still have a lot of room for improvement in helping graduates achieve purposeful work, and that we must find purposeful work in order to thrive. But I find that this evaluation of purposeful work through developing relationships with teachers and obtaining internships during college, only qualifies university with a small student-teacher ratio. Students from Rutgers University, for example, would find themselves in a space where they must break the barrier of a large student pool to meet and develop teacher relations compared to Seton Hall University. While these factors of fulfillment could be debated, can we ascribe the looming costs of college debt that will follow hundreds of thousands of Americans into their retirement age to the service of a good student-teacher relationship? I still believe that in pursuing a college degree – yes, you have the qualification for better work – but more than that, you have the exposure to skills, resources and texts through a liberal arts curriculum that teaches you to make more informed decisions as a responsible citizen, that vocational schools would be hard-pressed to do. And yes, many Americans would argue that is a valuable product for the costs incurred thereafter.

  4. Sarah I October 18, 2019 at 8:28 pm #

    What is the purpose of college and is it worth it? These are common questions high school seniors and college students ask themselves quite frequently. Is it worth the money, time, energy, and stress? There is a stigma that everyone must go to college after high school. Students are pressured because they think the only way to be successful in life is to have a college degree. The article in Forbes makes the point that society believes there are two purposes to college, to prepare students for work and to prepare students for success in life. I personally think that statement is too broad. College prepares students for work in their respective fields and helps them set a path to success. Higher education is not the only way to success, but it does help set the path. Students are unaware of the various other opportunities available to them after high school. Trade workers and military personnel can live successful lives, just like those who go to college. Students are unaware of these opportunities because no one talks about them. How many times has an ironworker, or an electrician came and spoke to a class of high school students? Probably never. We need to make these opportunities more available and let the students decide the best route for themselves. The pressure put on students to attend college is unreasonable and we should allow them to make the decision and not push the answer on them.
    Another point the article states is, “only 38% of graduates strongly agree they have discovered work that has a satisfying purpose,” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/brandonbusteed/2019/04/10/whats-the-purpose-of-college/amp/?__twitter_impression=true). This means that 62% of college graduates have not found work that satisfies them. Is it worth $100,000 in debt to not find work that satisfies you? All students go to college expecting to graduate and work a job they love with good pay, but that isn’t always the case. College doesn’t prepare students to live an unsatisfying life nor do they expect it. So, what is the purpose of college and is it worth it? I think the answer to that will vary by person and we need to let students answer that on their own, without pressure. If we allow them to choose their path in life, I think that people would be more likely to discover that their work has a satisfying purpose and they will genuinely enjoy doing it for a long time.

  5. Maeve Lersch October 23, 2019 at 12:09 pm #

    This article was an interesting read for me personally because it is very relevant in my life today. In the article, they talk about how before people decide whether college is worth the money or not, they need to consider the purpose of college. I think this is an extremely important question to consider since it is such a huge investment that affects someone’s entire life, and I think people today are getting stuck in going through the motions of what you think you are supposed to do.
    I always knew I was going to go to college; it was never really a question in my life personally or from where I grew up. The question that did concern me mainly was how I was going to figure out how my interests could lead to purposeful work because I think that is a big part of the purpose of college. In the article they mention how a major American value of college is to find better work, but I think the main purpose more importantly is to be able to use what you learn in college to find work that gives you purpose which in the article they said increases people’s overall well being by 10%. The fact that purposeful work improves someone’s overall wellbeing is incredibly important because it goes beyond money or superficial things; it goes much further, making it even more critical.
    One of the main talking points in this article is that many people think the purpose of college is not both job training or life training, but it is important to change this thinking to both. I think both purposes go hand in hand because becoming more enlightened and educated in life through college I believe will help people realize professions that are more enjoyable.
    In the article they give the statistic that 86% of college students believe it is important to have a sense of purpose from your work, but only 38% of graduates believe they achieved this. I think it is crazy that we go through all of this work in college to be able to gain purpose from work, but more than half do not actually achieve that. This statistic makes me reflect on my own journey thus far because I do not want to be in the 62% of graduates that do not feel a sense of purpose from their work. I think that this stat shows how important it is to get real world experience before graduating college because I don’t think many people actually know exactly what will give them purpose from just taking classes in school. I think having an internship or co-op experience gives people the chance to experiment with what they enjoy to really learn about themselves and what will give them purpose.

  6. Steven Evans October 23, 2019 at 6:25 pm #

    I think it’s a good thing that Americans are asking themselves what the point of college is. It seems that most young Americans see college as a necessity if you want to earn a livable paycheck. Therefore, most public high schools do not entertain the idea of not graduating and going to a college or university. Sometimes other options are not discussed, such as trades and military service. Where will all of the electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and other service workers come from if all of America’s youth are trying for college degrees? Some of the degrees students are now graduating with are from fields that seem to have no concept of the working world. Who will hire a recent college grad with a degree in Star Trek? (Yup – it’s a real thing.)
    That is not to say that college is not valuable for ANYONE. I think a lot of young adults who are on a successful path learn and grow substantially from the college experience. I just wish more young adults knew that there are other options. Not everyone is made for an occupation that would require a college degree. The world will still need other types of workers, and those people would be good at their skill even if they do not attend college.

  7. Steven Evans October 23, 2019 at 6:26 pm #

    I think it’s a good thing that Americans are asking themselves what the point of college is. It seems that most young Americans see college as a necessity if you want to earn a livable paycheck. Therefore, most public high schools do not entertain the idea of not graduating and going to a college or university. Sometimes other options are not discussed, such as trades and military service. Where will all of the electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and other service workers come from if all of America’s youth are trying for college degrees? Some of the degrees students are now graduating with are from fields that seem to have no concept of the working world. Who will hire a recent college grad with a degree in Star Trek? (Yup – it’s a real thing.) https://www.toptenz.net/to-10-useless-college-classes-degrees.php
    That is not to say that college is not valuable for ANYONE. I think a lot of young adults who are on a successful path learn and grow substantially from the college experience. I just wish more young adults knew that there are other options. Not everyone is made for an occupation that would require a college degree. The world will still need other types of workers, and those people would be good at their skill even if they do not attend college.

  8. Samantha Russo October 25, 2019 at 10:56 am #

    This conversation about is college really worth it was something I just went through with my little sister this past year. She graduated valedictorian in her class with the dreams of going into mechanical engineering but her biggest question was always why do I need college? And isn’t it a waste of my time when I can get a hands on experience elsewhere? Since we started her college search in her junior year, she would constantly be against the entire experience, telling us how it was a waste of money for her to go to school and how we would be better off saving our money on her tuition. This fight lasted over a full year while my parents had to constantly tell her why it was important to get a degree, especially for more than just getting a job in the future. She knew that to one day build robots, she would have to get her degree first but she never saw any point in college besides that. After fighting her senior year, she finally decided to go to Stevens Institute to get her degree in mechanical engineering but her fight is something I’ve felt during my four years at school.
    When I first started here, I was taking religion classes and classes that had nothing to do with my future career path and it made it hard to see the point in what I was studying. I often wondered if I was spending my tuition money wisely and if I should really be here or figuring out another career path. It only took four years but I managed to find the purpose of college, which is expanding my knowledge, especially on subjects I’m unfamiliar with. I’m a political science student in a business law and a criminal justice class this semester so I can expand my horizons in what I’m learning and be able to get something out of my $42k school. It’s hard your freshman year to feel like you aren’t wasting a lot of money trying to figure out your future. I started as a business major and within a day had to switch because I knew it wasn’t for me. I wasted time applying to business schools as a senior in high school because that’s what I thought I wanted to do with my life. It takes some getting used to but coming to college and learning as much as you possibly can is something that makes the huge financial debt school puts you in worth it.

  9. Jacqueline P November 5, 2019 at 7:59 pm #

    The question is “is college worth it?” A lot of people would argue that in order to have a successful life, you need to have a successful career others say that college is a waste of time and you can earn a living without it. For example, others go to trade schools or into the military. Trade schools are where if not all then most mechanics get their education. My older sister graduated from a trade school for cosmetology and now works full time in a salon and also decided to go to college. Everyone’s different and college doesn’t work for everyone. However, I’d say that college is worth it if you’re actually into it and willing to put in the time and work. The cost of college also drives people away. It’s a big investment and not everyone can afford it. Even college students can’t even afford. With the assistance of scholarships, grants, and loans, this is the only way that most of us can afford it. “If we want to answer the question of whether college is worth it, we need to start by asking “what is the purpose of college?” Reflecting on that may very well be the key to unlocking the next era of higher education, economic and well-being prosperity for our nation.” “What’s The Purpose of College” I couldn’t agree with this more. Figuring out the purpose of college will set others up in the future to succeed.

    I didn’t think college was worth it at first. After taking two years off after high school to work I realized that I wasn’t going to end up as nearly as happy as my friends who are getting job opportunities, co- ops, and internships to further themselves in the future. It was hard going back. Graduating from community college and ending up at a university where my family are alumni is a blessing in disguise. I’ve had so many doors open for me and so many opportunities that I didn’t know was possible. From the ups and downs, tears and no tears I don’t regret going back to school.

  10. Noelle Arrighi December 9, 2019 at 11:14 am #

    In this day and age it is extremely common to hear the phrase “college isn’t for me.” Whether they are about to graduate high school and are considering pursuing a degree or they tried and did not see their pursuits as worthwhile. I believe a great deal of this comes from the extremely high price of tuition, it can be hard to see college as worth it especially if obtaining a college degree also means joining the millions in the student debt crisis, which has now reached $1.6 billion and is only expected to increase with each passing year.

    On the other hand, not everyone is concerned about price, there are those who are financially comfortable and would remain so after college, who still might not see the purpose of college. This is because a lot of people simply see college has job training, and preparing people for their profession and that is all, which they may think they can do without college or they do not see the purpose of this. Something Forbes writer Brandon Busteed touches on is that college is about, indeed preparing one for the workforce and whatever job they desire, but also how to thrive in their overall lives, this includes outside of their career. This is frequently overlooked that college has the potential to give graduates purpose. It can mean absolutely nothing to be prepared for a job that someone sees no purpose in actually doing the job. By interacting with peers, professors and professionals, it is easy to find purpose especially when you surround yourself with people who already have found it, are looking to find it, or hope you will find this purpose. This is a unique environment that can truly only be found on a college campus. Busteed states that, only 6% of graduates with low levels of purpose in their are thriving in their overall well-being, however, graduates with high purpose in their work are ten times more likely to be thriving in their well-being, nearly 60%.

    Purpose is a simple term that can make thousands of dollars spent on an education worthwhile. I have noticed this firsthand. By taking advantage of the right opportunities at Seton Hall I have found the purpose that the author is alluding to. The college atmosphere is truly like no other, there are so many professors and programs that truly want you to succeed, to the point that it would be hard not to. Additionally, in the clubs I joined there is a balance of community and competition that makes me feel like I have a purpose and want to succeed for myself and those around me. It is one thing to make others proud, however, there is nothing like finding your purpose and being truly proud of yourself.

  11. David B February 21, 2020 at 10:52 pm #

    College and if it has purpose or not has been a debate for many people throughout the years. But in some instances people I know and stories I have heard, people attend college though even though they claim school is not for them. The Forbes article was a very interesting read and I agree with the statements they make about the true value and purpose of school. Everybody is going to have their own views on whether or not college is important or not but I believe college is the right choice for most students who are coming out of highschool. Even though college may not seem ideal for most people because of all the work and class for another trenous four years ,it is the right choice for people to make because it can offer the potential to gain better life. As the Forbes article stated “ Make no mistake, many of us see the purpose of college as both a job-driven and a life-driven purpose”. These two reasons show the value college can have on students looking for a higher education. College has the ability to give people better jobs with a college degree than a high school degree or no degree at all. A college degree has a direct impact on a person’s life as it has the potential to give them a better life. For example, I am currently in school and graduating soon from a four year university. After I hopefully finish school and obtain a degree I want to pursue business analytics. I cannot accomplish this goal unless I attend and receive a degree from a post secondary institution. With a degree it can get me a high paying job and with that it will put me in a better spot in life. But some people are not driven as others and may not see college as a choice and opportunity for them to better their life.
    Another quote from the Forbes article that I really found interesting was “The top two drivers of a graduate achieving purpose in their work are whether they had an applied job or internship and someone who encouraged their goals and dreams during college”. College is meant for an individual who wants to do more with their life and is motivated by goals and has dreams to do more than what’s actually in front of them. Getting an internship in school can really open a student’s eyes to what their future can hold and get them excited to start a new journey in their life. As Victoria said in her comments, I really agree with what she stated about students having to find the cost difference between attending college and the job they want after college. Even though this is a tough task to ask an 18 year old to do after finishing high school it does make a lot of sense.For instance, if a person wants to pursue a career in the medical field they need to go to college and obtain a degree but if I want to be a car mechanic and open up own car shop one day college may not be the place for them. It all depends how much money you want to make after college and if you truly need a degree to pursue your dreams and goals as an adult. It is also extremely important that a student knows what they want to do in college and they have a course of action. Having a plan is extremely ideal for a college degree since a student would not want to waste their time or money and want to get the most out of attending a university. Without a plan attending a college is pointless as you do not know what your career plans are for the future, and instead of this you can start making money in the workforce. College is worth attending and it gives people a sense of drive and purpose in their life as they have the opportunity to accomplish anything they set their mind to.

  12. Derek J February 21, 2020 at 11:48 pm #

    The perception of college is now on decline. What once was a solid infrastructure for many is now in question of how secure it really is. Overtime, many issues have surfaced in regards to college, which have in return given it a substandard reputation. College used to be at the top of the pecking order in consideration of pursuing higher education. Now, many find it difficult to see the value in college. Without a doubt, more individuals are uncertain whether or not it is necessary to attend college

    College is certainly not for everyone, but, the safety of certain jobs may depend on having a college education. Global competition leads to the offshoring of many jobs that do not require college education. Unemployment would then increase, and many would find themselves in a binding situation with no backup plan. That is why having a college degree is very beneficial. It ensures a little more safety, so that individuals are not left in a fit.

    On the other hand, For many middle-class individuals, paying back debt can be one of the most difficult things to do. It causes stress, anxiety, and in severe cases, depression. As a result, many may shy away from college in order to avoid this dilemma.

    Overall, deciding whether or not college is the right path for someone is a very important issue that needs to be resolved by the individual them self. This is a current issue that not only affects current generations, but it will also affect many generations to come. However, by making others aware of what to expect, an individual will have a much easier time in dealing with this issue.

  13. Mihail E February 22, 2020 at 3:35 pm #

    This article hit home for me. My parents always told me to go get an education and own my own business because you won’t like working for someone else. My perception of college is a hazy one. On one hand, I see what I’m paying for and on the other, I see little value. Depending on what you want to study, I see college as a great tool. I feel like the only real reason to attend college is if you want a career in something that pays very well, such as a lawyer or doctor. The reason I’m attending college is a double-edged sword. Sure, I’ve learned some things but the majority of my college career so far has been regurgitated information from high school or information that has no value to my intended career path. Interestingly I’ve learned more on the internet alone than I have in college.

    College is certainly not for everyone, but the safety of certain jobs may depend on having a college education. This is something I’ve realized and is why I’m still pursuing a degree. It’s so that I have something to fall back on if nothing works out. Plus paying back the debt of a college degree can be one of the most difficult things to do. It causes stress and anxiety. So far I see that my return on investment is not paying out to the fullest. Hopefully, it will improve itself as I get closer to finishing my degree.

    Whether college is the right path or not is a very important issue that needs to be decided by the individual themself. If the individual is going to become a lawyer or doctor, then go for it, the return on investment is extraordinary. But if the individual is attending college to get a liberal arts degree, I wish them good luck and not waste the money because you can easily learn about the field you are interested in by researching on the internet or even reading a book. Hopefully, I will be proven wrong and see the value of a college degree.

  14. Vasilios T Moustakis February 22, 2020 at 9:37 pm #

    The two schools of thought bring a divisive argument to the concept of college. To improve critical thinking or to provide the expert knowledge that is otherwise taught in the real world the hard way? The combination of both schools of thought is the academic ideal. Colleges should strive to provide the door to academic self-actualization. That is, for someone to be as academically competent as they can possibly be through a rigorous 4-year curriculum. To say that college has no purpose or that it does not successfully translate its purpose into the classroom still retains the prestige of the Bachelor’s degree, whether or not anything was learned.
    Vice versa, if someone becomes more ‘academically mature’ at a worse college than someone at a better college, then the benefit still reflects in the real world, regardless of a particular Bachelor’s degree’s prestige.
    I believe college is universally relevant to the workforce, and there are degrees for every field. Some argue that college is not ideal for their prospective line of work, but to seek a positive return on investment without college versus with college is always going to be riskier than getting a Bachelor’s degree. In my opinion, you get what you give, so claiming that college isn’t right for a particular person is, at least 75% of the time, submission to laziness. Either way, in 20 years or so we will have our answer as to how college has affected the workforce, as the older people retire. Ultimately, it is up to colleges to give the best education that they can provide, synthesizing both schools of thought about college to an apex of real-world competence and academic maturation.

  15. Mya Jackson February 23, 2020 at 7:04 pm #

    This article truly takes a look into one of the most asked and fretted questions by young people and that is; “What is the purpose/point of college?” I feel that it was very important that the article addressed that college is present to help people find a purpose in life, figure out how to thrive in the workplace, and figure out how to thrive in their own lives. One thing that I have learned from being in college a very short time is that there are many people here that want to help you further your goals by challenging the mind farther than we though possible. However, it is also very vital that we have real life work experience while in college, so that we are that much more prepared for the real world. I find it surprising however, that this article does not discuss the cost levels of college and how the burden of debt may affect people’s choices on whether or not to attend. Yes, this experience is useful and proactive, but many do not have the luxury of having a faculty or staff prepare them for the workplace and they have to figure it out on their own. Sometimes college is not for everyone and many people thrive without ever stepping foot in a college classroom. I guess in the next 10-15 years we’ll truly see how much of an impact college has on production in a true working environment.

  16. Bart L February 28, 2020 at 10:58 am #

    The purpose of college can be explained differently by anyone who answers it. This article was very compelling to me since I am currently in university. Having my own views on higher education, I can agree and disagree with certain aspects of the different answers I have seen. To me, college is both an opportunity to have job security in the field I am pursuing and also growing the values in myself to apply to my life. But, since college is now rising to become a necessity, I have had this perception that I must attend college since high school. It was as if there was no other option and preparation had begun many years before graduation. It was also pushed from my family to attend as well as others who have been pushed to do the same. But in the end, I believe everyone should attend college or any sort of school to obtain a degree in some sort.

    Attending and graduating college can be a huge financial burden on most individuals at the moment, but what comes out of it will be paid off in the future. College is an investment in yourself, and if the right steps are taken for your career to become successful, then the return from the college degree will be able to pay off any costs with some strategic planning. In the article “DO COLLEGE GRADS REALLY EARN MORE THAN HIGH SCHOOL GRADS?”, the author, Peter Osborn, mentions how “…College graduates earn $1 million more in earnings over their lifetime,” compared to those without college degrees. With this money, college can easily be paid off and the rest of the funds could be used for personal interest such as retirement or a house. With this in mind, finding the right path to take in college to bring purpose in your future career is not easy, but there are many resources to help. Finding the right school with the vital resource opportunities to help achieve your goal is an important aspect such as support centers, resourceful professors, etc. In my experience, I had the proper guidance from my University to help find a career that I have passion in while also making sure I would be financially stable to ensure my success in the future. Do you feel your path in college or university has helped with your job training and/or life training?

  17. Lauren M February 28, 2020 at 1:46 pm #

    I found this article to be very interesting, as it helps clear up the debate over whether the purpose of college is to help prepare a person for work, or if it is about preparing a person for success in life. The article argues that college is about preparing people for a job, while also helping people thrive in their overall lives.

    I would argue against this article and explain how I feel that a person can be prepared for success in life without having to go to college. As someone that has been working since the young age of 14 and is a college student, I can honestly say that I have been better prepared for success in life through working, versus going to school. Through work, I have learned how to effectively communicate, along with learning how to problem-solve. In college, I learn more about specific topics based on what course I choose to take. In school, I feel that I am not learning about how to handle real-world situations, such as having an argument with a manager or making a mistake at work.

    The article also argues that the purpose of college is to help graduates value both purpose and work, and find the most purpose through working. I would also argue that a person does not need to go to college to find purpose in his or her work. Maybe the person enjoys (and finds purpose in) a field such as landscaping or being a server in a restaurant, which does not require a degree.

    What interests me about this article is that I feel that it is very one-sided, as it does not mention the cons about attending college. College today has become extremely expensive, and many people are not given all of the facts before attending college. If I were to go back in time, I would consider attending a community college and solely receiving an Associate’s Degree, as the field that I would like to work in does not necessarily require a degree, but requires customer service skills and experience. College is also not for everyone. I have always been one to struggle with school, but felt pressured to attend college, as society is pushing young people to attend college right after graduating from high school.

    Overall, I think that college can be a great help with preparing people for work and success in life, but I do not think that going to college is the only way to do so. I also do not think that attending college is the only way to help people find purpose in their work, as there are many people that have found purpose in their work without going to college.

  18. David Mennonna February 28, 2020 at 5:50 pm #

    I think this article gave an interesting look on peoples view on college. I personally think the only jobs that really require college are things like doctors, lawyers, scientists and things of a specialized nature. In today’s workforce someone without a college degree is never going to get a high ranking job with a good salary as a first job, and they will have very little promotion opportunities. But I think realistically someone with no degree and started as a low level employee and worked at that job for 4 years could be just as effective, if not more effective, than someone right out of school. I think it is very dependent on the individual. A highly motivated and creative person, I don’t think I need college. Because they will be motivated to learn traits and become successful. And their creativity will help them solve problems and become valuable members of society. Someone who lacks creativity, whether motivated or not, needs college because I don’t think they will know what to do unless they are explicitly told how to get something done. My experience at college is that the professors and the school itself really focus on making employees, which I do not like. However that is only my experience. I believe there are good professors out there that push students to reach their full potential. Having all this said I think college is a good experience for people who have been sheltered. Some people may already have the experience, but it is good to go live away from home and meet all different types of people and grow as an individual.

  19. Nicole K. February 28, 2020 at 7:45 pm #

    This article was relatable to me. Personally, for me, college was something my parents always talked to me about. My parents are my biggest supporters, they are constantly pushing me to do well in school and to do my best. Both of my parents grew up in Poland, college isn’t as valued there versus how college is highly valued in America. Therefore, college is something my parents place high importance on for the success of my future. Going into college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew is that college was going to be lot of money, I have to get good grades and hope to get a job by the time I graduate. As a sophomore in college, I can agree with this article and say that the purpose of college is not only to prepare for a job, but also to prepare for life.
    College is about finding your purpose, and I found my purpose in life. Entering college, I did not know what kind of jobs or majors I would be interested in. Now, during my second year of college, I learned that I want to pursue a career in the field of accounting. Not only do I know what I want to do with my life, I learned a lot about myself and have matured as a person. Having the experience of living away from home, having a job on campus, and being involved on campus has gave me life experiences. My college has given me experiences that involve interacting with people and developing skills, which has allowed me to grow as a person. My classes have made me a more educated person, and helped me find my interest in the field of business. My on campus job has helped me develop leadership qualities and skills that will be necessary to have in the workplace. It is important to find purpose in what you are doing, it will make you successful as a person.
    The study in the article concludes that about 80% of college graduates believe that it is important to acquire a sense of purpose from their work (Busteed, Forbes). I agree with this, I believe that a person needs to find purpose in their work. I think it is important to have purpose in what you do, this will make a person more successful and happier in life. For example, I would not become a doctor just because it is a high paying job. I would become a doctor if I found that it is something that gives me purpose, something that I want to do with my life. Life is not about going to work and receiving a salary for it, life is for having a motive for doing what you do. I agree with this article, the purpose of article is not only to get a job, but also prepare for life.

  20. Matthew Pavlik February 28, 2020 at 8:51 pm #

    Like many students who went to college right from high school, it was the only easy choice I was given by my parents. Of course, I wanted to go to college — I’ll be the first member of my family with a 4 year degree (and anything else I do past that), and I was given both these reasons by my parents. My mom would say that college was a way to continue an education and prepare myself for life, all while giving myself time to adjust to being an adult. For my dad, college was about work and a job, him being someone with an associate’s degree in business who continues to work his way up the ladder. Up until I got to college, all I could think about was how I would have to sit in limbo for a few years to get a degree or two and, if I could fast forward through it (similar to autopilot), I would.
    Quickly after I started college, I realized both arguments are true and the idea that someone would argue one over the other seems ignorant. In fact, one of the degrees I am working towards, a B.A. in Philosophy, is purely for education reasons and, if I can, that might be the degree that I go to graduate school for (unless it just makes more sense to do that with a business degree). At the end of the day, I am confident that I will work towards a career that I enjoy, so now my goal in college is to find a career that gives me purpose while recognizing and accepting my current purpose, to become as educated as I can.
    More importantly, I truly hope that the thoughts about college shift from what it is for to how to maximize it for oneself. I had a great economics professor who, at the end of a tangent, said, “The problem with the work force is not that they are unqualified, they are very over-qualified in the wrong areas.” He raised an excellent point; the market can only have so much of a demand for a particular field, and many in those tight fields do not specialize enough to succeed over others (think psych or social science/gender studies majors). While a doctoral degree in any of those fields would open the door to a lifetime of work, many people either do not know this, do not think that they can do it, can not afford it, or do not want to. I wish colleges did more to make people understand the power of their degrees, alternative degree options, and the level of degree they will need. Sadly, I know some retail store managers with 4 year degrees in social work and psychology who are searching for work in their major field years after completing their degree.
    Instead of arguing over whether college is meant for learning or work, the consensus should be to help people realize what they need to do with college in order to maximize their future well-being.

  21. Natalia Z May 26, 2020 at 12:07 pm #

    “Congratulations on graduating high school, where are you going for college?” “What are you going to major in?” I’m sure many of us have been asked these questions by either a family member, friend, or even a teacher. We are told to “go to college” by so many people, yet we are never given an explanation on why it’s important for us to get a higher education. College education is one area that many people in the United States have invested and continue to invest in. The average person wants to attend college, find a great career, start a family, and own a house and car. College provides students with a steady path, control over their lives, and a secure future. It has become the new way of life for current and future millennials. In this article however, it gave me a different perspective about college that I never paid attention to. Forbes’s article provided study highlights from a Gallup-Bates College study explaining the importance of both purpose and work – and in fact, finding the most purpose in and from work. My opinion towards this topic has leaned more towards the idea that college provides the education needed for a person to develop skills and resources to further their development as a person. Busteed tells us that we still have a lot of room for improvement in helping graduates achieve purposeful work, and that we must find purposeful work in order to thrive. The saying “practice makes perfect ” is used to describe that in order for someone to be successful in what they do, they need to be encouraged by someone to persist in it. This is where I believe professors and colleges come into play. By infusing experiences like internships and the setting of realistic expectations with reflective skill sets, colleges can help students maximise their college experience. The students however, have to want in. By this, I mean colleges try to do everything they possibly can to provide their students with opportunities that will bring them success as they graduate. But, that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Students who go to college and do minimum work to earn a degree compared to those who take advantage of every opportunity and apply for an internship or become part of an organization will be the ones who will feel more encouraged to apply for a job or even be offered a job. Those students who take the opportunities their college has to offer will make going to college worth the money and purposeful.

Leave a Reply to Victoria Balka Click here to cancel reply.