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.

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61 Responses to What’s The Purpose Of College?

  1. Demetri Allen April 26, 2019 at 5:46 pm #

    Personally, to me, I have always had a certain stigma when it comes to college. My whole life I sort of followed the path my parents sent me in which isn’t always a bad thing. My parents are both well educated and want the best for me so I thought what better than to follow their lead. As of me writing this right now I am about to finish my first year in college and I can say that it’s been an interesting experience. However, I can 100% see why it is not for everyone. I always knew I was going to college and I always actually wanted to go. I wanted to further my education, get a great job, and have some once in a lifetime experiences along the way. I have to say that I am very blessed that my parents manage to save enough money to put me through college with as little debt as possible and I am grateful for that. Tuition for colleges is absurdly high and is raising the point where students are reluctantly leaving school with a huge burden on their shoulders. It is easy to understand why finances like this would easily deter someone from seeking higher education. Not to mention that the job market is becoming even more competitive than it has ever been, and most students aren’t even guaranteed a job once they graduate leaving them unemployed with a huge debt to pay. This makes it seem like all the time and money that went into those 4 years was all for nothing. Also, from my personal experience, most of my friends from high school were very unsure of their future. How would a bunch of developing teenagers know what career path they would want to take on for the rest of their life at such a young age? So many of my friends were hesitant in making that big step in fear of wasting time and money. Lots of them chose to work or go to a cheaper community college instead. Lastly, I always found myself as much of an introvert but I had finally come out of my shell over the course of high school and made many friends and gained a good reputation by senior year. Having to move on and leave everyone behind was very tough in the beginning, to sort of start all over from square one is not the easiest thing to do so it makes sense why some people would try and look for another alternative.

    • Christopher Bagnell September 20, 2019 at 7:43 pm #

      After reading the article on the purpose of college I feel more educated about the subject. Often times I hear or engage in a conversation about college and how it’s a waste of money and to a certain extent I agree. The cost of college and universities has gone up drastically over the past decades and it seems as though the quality of education has stayed the same. A lot of people go to college with the goal of graduating with a degree they choose, but they people never ask why and I think that’s an important question to ask. The article states that the purpose to college is to find purpose in the workforce however only 38% of graduates are satisfied with their work. I think this has to do with the fact that teenagers are going into college without truly knowing what they want to do for the rest of their life. They pick a degree based on either what their parents say or on what looks cool, but may not necessarily be what they’re interested in. I’ve seen it many times with people in my family that have gone to college for the first 2 years or so, and decide they want to change majors. There is nothing wrong with changing majors but a lot of people are scared to take the jump and commit to the change and I think that is where the problem revolves. People are too scared to get uncomfortable and take a risk, take a chance, to find something they are truly interested in. High schools and colleges don’t promote finding your path as well as they should be. There should be meetings and events to help engage students and help them find what they want to do. After all, the kids going to college are truly kids, they are only eighteen or nineteen and for the most part haven’t experienced the hardships of life. They haven’t had to worry about buying a house or finding a real job and aren’t given all of the tools to succeed. I think the real reason there’s only 38% of graduates with work that is satisfying is because they aren’t satisfied with their career path that they have chosen. It is important to realize if something isn’t for you, and take action. Not just with a major but with anything in life. If a job is not satisfying, find out why and try to make it satisfying for yourself. If there is no way of making it satisfying, then try and find a new job or talk to a boss about what is wrong and maybe they can help. More now than ever, people are going to college and it is important to show them the right career path, otherwise they will not be satisfied. After all, “Helping graduates achieve purposeful work may indeed be the purpose of college.”

  2. Santiago Gomez April 26, 2019 at 7:36 pm #

    After reading the article I found it very helpful for those who are still in the consideration of enrolling into a 4-year university. Providing some statistics on how graduates feel satisfied with their college experience. With how they perform now, then from before. As we know it the purpose of college is to get an education and hopefully obtain a job. Not only a job but a career we aspire to be. Not going to a 4-year institution is viewed as a stigma. It looks as if it is part of the American culture. Pre-k to 8th. Graduate high school and go to college. And many questions arise from “what in the world are you doing?” to “how will you find a job?”. And I certainly feel this way. People who refuse or cannot attend a university, I feel will struggle than a person who holds a bachelor’s degree. Given the fact, the student’s loans have a knife on the necks or graduates. But generally speaking, an individual who holds a degree earns more than someone who does not. Also, it opens many opportunities for job openings. Because nowadays many jobs are now requiring college degrees. The article provides a very important aspect of what is the purpose of college. “The top two drivers of a graduate achieving purpose in their work are whether they had an applied job or internship.” I find this very important because I think this is what gives colleges a purpose. To take opportunities for what the college is offering. Because I personally know college graduates, who finished but now work in retail or something that does not in the area of study. Just because they did not get accepted into an internship program or just simply did not apply for one. The article states in its the last sentence, “helping graduates achieve purposeful work may indeed be the purpose of college.” I find it true, but I will like to add one final statement. The purpose of college is to transform an individual intellectually and personally.

  3. Doran Abdi April 26, 2019 at 8:10 pm #

    The idea of college being optional is an idea of the past and should not be put into anyone’s head who is growing up in the modern world. As a society we are raised in a way to believe that our whole lives are supposed to be linear and everything comes in an order. Me—personally—I was raised believing that I would go to elementary school then middle school then high school, college, etc. Today, the idea of my life becoming completely linear has become a little outdated and expired and I have become open to different perspectives. College used to be something that was optional for students who were looking to fulfill a job dream. If one were not to go to college, a path for a successful career was very possible. Today, with how competitive the job world has become, this is no longer an option at all. The present day job world is more competitive than it has ever been and just having a college degree may sometimes not even enough to suffice anymore. Employers are looking for years of experience and multiple realistic skills that can have already been developed by the time one is to get out of college. Additionally, the price of college and education is higher than it has ever been, and many students are now finding themselves buried in debt once they have graduated from college. With that being said, students are now having the highest anxiety and depression rates than have ever been seen in America before. This has created a massive debate within politicians regarding students who are struggling to pay for their education and are being faced with the most stress that students have ever seen. Many are advocating for there to be lower college/free tuition allowing for more underprivileged students to be able to access an incredible privilege. Additionally, the weight of what a college degree may hold has created another argument on the realistic nature on what a college degree may give to a graduating student. I feel as if the job world will reach a point where it is so competitive that there will be need to be some sort of legislative movement made to make the job world more accessible for graduating students.

  4. Dylan Flego April 26, 2019 at 8:34 pm #

    The purpose of college is very loosely defined because it varies from person to person. Realistically, there is no single set definition of what college is for due to the varying reasons as to why people attend it. For instance, some people may decide to attend a college to focus their education experience in a single field such as business, teaching, science, and many more. Others may feel as if the purpose of college is instead a “prerequisite” to succeeding in daily life as a post graduate. Or perhaps people believe college is a part of life where one finds out who they really are and what they are really interested in, as not everyone who applies to college knows exactly what they’ll be studying and focusing on during their time there. For me, I personally see the purpose of college in my eyes to be one that helps an individual become more independent and less reliant on others to help them out all the time. During my time in college so far, I’ve learned skills that will assist me in the future to not be as dependent on others as I have been before. In addition, college has also helped with motivating myself to be more creative and take approaches that I normally would not have considered in the first place. While a strong independence is important, it is also vital to obtain strong social skills, too. College has also helped me develop these skills through courses I am taking and simply being around other students constantly. Essentially, there is no single concrete purpose of college when everyone has different perspectives and goals in mind. In fact, one person’s own purpose of college may just as well be an obstacle to another person. Some people may not enjoy focusing on a single field to major in, while others strive to narrow down their work consistently in a sole area. All in all, the purpose of college is simply an open-ended topic that has varying answers depending on the person you ask.

  5. Deep Patel April 26, 2019 at 8:46 pm #

    The price of college has increased every year and thousands of students are in debt for years after they graduate. With more and more occupations requiring an advanced education, a college degree is critical to a student’s success in today’s workforce. College degree earns more on average than someone without one. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics workers with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $464 more per week than workers with just an high school diploma. That may not seem much to some people, but it adds up as every year goes by. Also, workers with a college degree are less likely to face unemployment once you find that first job. It leads to more career stability and according to BLS data just 2.7% of workers with a bachelor’s degree are facing unemployment. Personally, college is getting very expensive but my parents did not have a chance to go to college so they worked very hard and long hours just to provide for my sister and I and just seeing that makes me motivated to get a degree so I will not have to be in the position they were at. In today’s society a high school diploma will not get you a reliable job for you to have a home, create a family, or even have time to enjoy life and see happiness.
    However, college is way too expensive for some families to afford. At the same time, a majority of college graduates say that college has been a great investment for them personally. Also, student loans as debt is a major issue with going to a university. Many students who leave college have substantial debt and most of them have a hard time paying off that debt. It makes it harder for recent graduates to pay for other bills, or buy a home, and even go on a vacation. I believe college is a benefit not only will it help you set up for the future, but it will build character. It helps acquire good work ethic and helps with communication and organizational skills. I believe there is a purpose of going to college it really helps you prepare for the adult life and helps students manage their assets. Not only will college help set you up for the future it will help generate a stable income for graduating students. I have learned so much in my three years at Seton Hall University than I have learned throughout my entire life before college. I learned new technology that will help me in the future as technology is taking over the world. Also, I have learned how to manage my finances and my communication skills have improved drastically. I learned how to present in front of people and also enjoyed connected with my peers. Therefore, I believe a college education is important as it will help set up students for the rest of there lives.

  6. Daniel Gibson April 26, 2019 at 8:54 pm #

    I never really thought much of college until junior year of highschool. I always knew I wanted to do something involving business and seton hall ended up being the choice. As we grow up, people just assume that they need to work crazy hard in high school, to get to best college possible, so that they get a guaranteed job. Employers these days don’t really care as much now about what school you come from. They care more about experience and practical skills. Sure, a college degree might indicate they your capable of great things, but doesn’t mean you’re the right fit for that job. I think college is more about growing up, learning what matters, and just enjoying yourself. After a year here, I can say some classes have actually taught me valuable skills, while some were just to get done.

    The thing is that college degrees are becoming a must in the world we live in, because of the population. It’s still possible to be successful without it, but it’s much harder. That doesn’t mean you need to get straight A’s. I think its good when people fail or make mistakes in school, because their able to learn from them. It’s all about getting yourself out there and finding what you love must. Everyone is different which is why everyone is capable of different things. Some people know what that passion is as a kid, or it might take years to come. College is set up for you to have fun and explore what you like doing. It’s about being independent in life, and learning real life situations. People need to start realizing that college doesn’t mean a guarantee good job. I think it’s crucial for high school seniors to understand the amount if money each institution is and how you will be able to finalize it. It really all comes down to look long term.

  7. Divyaa Sarin April 27, 2019 at 7:41 pm #

    The purpose of college is a very controversial issue. Many believe that college will help secure an individual’s future, by receiving a higher education. Other’s may believe that college is a waste of time and money. The opinion all matters on the individual. Personally, I believe that an individual can only form an opinion about college after attending college. I agree with the author in the article that the purpose of college is to receive a higher level of education in order to improve ourselves, for some that may be a high paying job. The diploma received at the end of four years of college, shows future employers that we can perform the work designated to our specific profession. When a person doesn’t have a college education, there is no guarantee that they will be able to perform the same level work as an individual with one.

    Often times, people argue that colleges don’t prepare individuals for the working life because there is no work experience involved. I completely disagree with this because many colleges require students to have at least a few internships in order to graduate. I believe internships are great to learn about the environment you want to work in. Of course, you don’t get paid, but you do get paid with experiences! Some people would just rather work jobs than get an education because they think that’s easier. No high-paying jobs give jobs out to people without education easily. There are a few cases of college dropouts becoming billionaires, like Mark Zuckerberg, but that’s a one in a million-life time chance. This doesn’t happen to everyone! Everyone has their own goals, which they develop once they attend college. Therefore, it is important to be secured by going to college and improving yourself for the future.

  8. Rayzan Alarashi April 30, 2019 at 1:36 pm #

    Is college worth it? The answer to that has been in question for the past several yeas now as college continues to get increasingly expensive. As college students, I’m sure we are all aware of the troubles that student loans can bring into our life. Currently in the U.S. there are 44 million Americans who have student loan debts equaling a total a sum of $1.56 trillion. That number alone begins to make people skeptical about whether college is really worth it if you have end up spending your whole life paying back loans. The issue has become so large that Bernie Sanders has made lowering cost of school the forefront of his presidential campaign. Bernie Sanders recently tweeted some statistics that truly put into perceptive how expensive college really is. Bernie claimed that “the boomer generation needed just 306 hours of minim wage work to pay for four years of public college, Millennial’s need 4,459”. I personally believe that anyone able to attend college should as it will put them on a better path to succeed in life. Despite that, not everyone necessary needs college as any people in the past have succeeded without it. Forbes recently published that out of the world’s 400 richest people, 63 only have a high school diploma. Chances are though that the average person isn’t Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs and don’t have the next biggest invention that will change the world so therefore college becomes a necessity. College will not only teach an individual the necessary skills to acquire job but will also teach important life skills such as being able to think critically, communicate effectively, and even find their purpose in life. As Professor Shannon always says, when in college we are surrounded by some of the world’s most intelligent people and that the time we spend in college should be used to constantly learn more skills that will prepare us for the real world. Personally, I believe the purpose of college is a mix of both learning fundamental skills for our particular fields and finding our purpose in life. College is the best time for people to find out more about themselves and what they truly want to do in life. That’s why everyone should at least give college a try even if they don’t initially feel it’s right for them.

  9. Claudia Ralph May 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm #

    Ever since I was little, going to college was in the cards for my two siblings and myself. My parents not only made sure that we were all well-educated, they made it on of their highest priorities in life. To give you an idea of how important secondary education is in my lineage, if were not to get a graduate degree, I would be breaking four generations of tradition in my Dad’s family. My Great Grandfather had his masters, my Grandfather has his doctorate, my Grandmother has her master and my Dad went to law school. It is not that simply college was expected, it was that I was bred by my parents to go to college. This is in contrast to my Mom’s family, a tight-knit group of Italian immigrants of whom my Mother was the only of her three sisters to complete college and the first one in her family to do so.
    I most certainly had a choice of going to college, but mostly it was expected that I was attending college. I looked at my family and said to myself, “I will go to college mostly for my own desire to learn more, but also to continue the excellence of my Dad’s family and to seize the opportunity that many in my Mother’s family did not have.”
    This mentality though still has me questioning if going to college is worth it for every. I never scuff at someone in my upper-middle class town for going a non-traditional route because honestly, if the job I wanted to do didn’t require a degree, I don’t think that going to school would be in the cards for me. We do need people that are in non-traditional routes to do jobs that do jobs that require trade school or another way of specialized learning. For the amount of time, effort and money that is contributed to my undergraduate education, I would not be here unless I really wanted to.
    But that doesn’t change the fact that I am surrounded by people every day who question why they are here. Are they here because someone else wants them to be? Are they here because it was just the traditional route for everyone from their high school? For the amount I watch people be unhappy and uncommitted to school, I wish that they would sit down and ask themselves, “is college really worth it for me?”

  10. Ashley Bock May 2, 2019 at 3:50 pm #

    What is the Purpose of college? Well, as a second semester freshman in college I believe there is no hard answer distinguishing the purpose from either job training or life training. I feel it is both; this because for most individuals, college is a wake-up call to four plus years of finding out what you want to pursue in life and what kind of person you want to be while pursuing that job, or life goal. It is for this reason that I agree with the article that, “achieving purposeful work may indeed be the purpose of college” (Forbes.com). This is because as I stated many young adults go to college to find their purpose or their passion and prepare for a job that they would want to pursue and enjoy for the better part of their life. This Forbes article highlights a study that gives evidence for both sides, whether college is for finding a better job or to focus on developing life skills. The Gallup Bates study said that “Eighty percent of college graduates say it’s important to derive a sense of purpose from their work. Yet, only 38% of graduates strongly agree they have discovered work that has a satisfying purpose” (Busteed). What does this mean? Well, this tells us that most people find value in the purpose of their work and bottom line all aspects of college are what allowed these graduates to have purpose in work and life. So, when one asks the question of what the purpose of college is, it is fundamentally answered with an answer that college creates a whole person; one who is capable, educated and well-rounded as well as ready to take on the challenges of life.

  11. Lillie Moran May 2, 2019 at 5:19 pm #

    I have been told all of my life that if you get straight A’s, go to a good college and graduate, you’ll get a job. And to me, there is no disputing this fact; however, I was also always told that if you concentrate with a certain major, then you are more likely to succeed. While reading this article, I found a lot of correlations to my freshman year, and no way to better reflect on what I have learned throughout this year than reading about what my purpose is now as a college student. The article hints to the major conflict but doesn’t really dive into it. Coming into college, I had no desire to be a business major, in fact, I hate the idea of wasting four years of my life as a business major, but I was told that the only way I’d become successful is if I majored in Accounting or Finance, so that’s what I did. I hated math and I hated the idea of spending years of my life in a cubicle, sorting through Excel files, but a voice in the back of my mind told me that this was the only way I was going to make money. My freshman year has just touched onto the major of Finance, but I am already starting to see the applications and process of obtaining this major, and I hate it. But, for me, there’s really no other choice.

    We are told the purpose of college is to go and get a good job and this is largely due to the major; however, I don’t think this is an accurate assumption. My father, a hardworking man all of his life, went to college as a Political Science and History major. He has always told me the story of how things won’t be handed to you, you must take it upon yourself to earn what you want. Now, my father is currently the Vice President of two divisions of a local bank in North Carolina- government lending and leasing- where he makes a substantial amount of money as well as a higher-standard of living. My father is a living example of how college can prepare you in some respects, but it is really only there to prepare you to realize who you are as an individual. Going through his time as a college student, my father realized that he wasn’t meant to spend time as a politician or a professor of history, but instead, someone who loves to communicate to people and find the best solutions to situations. His story has helped me develop what I think the purpose of college is. I believe the purpose of college is to shape you into the person that you are, and to me, I am meant to be a leader. This year has taught me a lot, but it has mostly taught me that college is the real world, and in the real world, you need to know who you are. I have discovered my passion for public speaking and communicating with people, and I intend to pursue this after I graduate in 2022.

  12. Cameron Kharazmi May 2, 2019 at 8:48 pm #

    With the current economic climate that pins student loan debt as one of its most pressing issues, it is fair that many in society would doubt college as a viable option to financially secure themselves for the future. After all, a person who starts their career after high school and decides against college would save themselves from probable student loan debt for the rest of their lives, despite the low wages they would initially make. Additionally, with the college admissions atmosphere growing increasingly more competitive with many eyeing top nationally ranked schools as the path to success, pressure and fear of failure fills the hearts of potential college applicants, discouraging them of applying in the first place. What I found interesting about this article was the mention of the mixing of motives related to going to college by the author. In which I do side with the author, because I believe a lot of the criticism related to going to college involves the motives from those who do not quite understand college today. My experience in college has involved both popular motives, as I believe I have not only drawn conclusions about where I want to go in my life and career, but also believe I have gained valuable lessons and knowledge from my courses and organizations on campus that will be valuable for jobs in the future. I also believe I have come into school with a purpose, which is to enhance my network, learn marketing abilities, and learn the law in order to enter the music industry and handle music licensing and contracting. As such, I agree that those who enter college with a purpose will be more satisfied (as backed up by the statistics) and therefore consider college to be worth it. Most of the backlash I see against going to college always seems to come from those who went to college long ago, or have found some career where they did not need college. That is not the case for the current millennial and Gen Z generations, who I believe should pursue college in order to find the career that satisfies their life purpose, which I believe is the most important thing.

  13. Diamond Vasquez May 2, 2019 at 9:28 pm #

    ”What’s the Purpose of College?,” an article published by Brandon Busteed on Forbes, really shows the true purpose(s) of college. Basically, it is not a question of whether or not college is really worth it, but what the purpose of college is. It may not be for everyone, but for those that do decide to attend a university think that college could either help them gain a better job or gain a better life experience. Well, the truth is that college does both. According to this article, “College is about both preparing people for a job (and helping them advance their careers and earnings) and to thrive in their overall lives.” He also highlights some interesting facts and statistics in this article, some including the following:

    1) “Eighty percent of college graduates say it’s important to derive a sense of purpose from their work.”
    2) “For graduates with low levels of purpose in their work, only 6% are thriving in their overall well-being. But graduates with high purpose in their work are ten times more likely to be thriving in their well-being (59%).”
    3) “The two top 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.”

    From a very young age, I already knew that I wanted to go to college. I am actually the first one, out of five children, in my family that is going to graduate from college, obtaining both a bachelor’s and a master’s degrees in accounting. I remember my parents telling me that going to college can help obtain a career, leading me to a better future and a better life. As I was reading this article, it made me think of what my parents have always told from a kid until now, and they are right. I definitely agreed with what Busteed argued on that it is not an either/or debate, but it is a both/and argument. Just from my first year of college, I have learned some very valuable life lessons, along with lessons that could help me when going into my future career as an accountant. I found this article very intriguing, and I would definitely recommend others to read this article, especially those who are planning on attending college or those who are indecisive on attending college.

  14. Kevin Metz May 2, 2019 at 10:54 pm #

    This article insists that instead of asking the question, “is college worth it?” we should really be asking, “what is the purpose of college?” It then goes on to explain statistics on graduates’ purpose in life and the work force and how a purposeful job in the end, makes them happier. This is where I believe the article took a wrong turn. The author had skipped the most crucial reasoning for going to college in the first place, which is getting a good job. Sure, the article explains that getting a purposeful job will make the graduate happier and over all have a more purposeful well being but the part that they missed is that you can get a job without attending college. So why do people choose to study higher education? So they can get the better job, whether “better” is interpreted as more purposeful or higher paying or something they enjoy. The fact of the matter is, it is hard to get a job covering one of the three criteria if you don’t have a college degree to put on your resume. So what is the real purpose of college? It is not to have a purposeful or happy life directly, yes that is a long term goal, but the most important reason and main purpose is to get your degree in order to get a better job opportunity then you would have gotten if you would have applied directly out of high school without any internships or a higher education.

  15. Peter Honczaryk May 3, 2019 at 10:49 am #

    I always like to ask people the same question this article poses because of the variety of answers I get which usually are just the same responses, find a job, get an education, or because they were encouraged to do so. I always say that the reason I go to college is because I would hate to have to work as a warehouse employee making little money and getting not satisfaction out of it. The job I do now is my own personal drive to want to better my life so that in the future I do not have to work as hard with my back but instead with my mind. I always have to find new and creative ways to be better than the other person because I hate to admit it but I am not the smartest person in the room, but I always look for ways to outsmart the smartest person in the room. College gives that opportunity for me to see what kind of people I will be trying to compete with to get a job. I always feel like this is a one for all where you have to outsmart everyone even if you are not the smartest person in the room. Its also interesting to talk to those people who do say that college is not for them because they would rather work with their hands. That is what everyone I work with says, that they want to get in jobs like construction but are having a hard time getting out of the warehouse. Even when they do say they like working with their hands, they will always complain how they hate the job they are doing which is simply working with your hands and when I point out that they are being hypocritical, they try to find a way to say that they don’t fully mean it and they just don’t like the way the job is run. I always tell people I hate what I do and that I don’t like working with my hands and would much prefer an office job. That is my drive to why I am in college, so that I do not have to work hard labor for little pay. Hopefully things will work out well for me and I will get what I want.

  16. Daibelis Acevedo May 3, 2019 at 11:58 am #

    Right off the bat I can tell that this article was going to be an interesting one, especially because of the first paragraph. As someone who worries constantly about the future and money, sometimes the purpose of college does get lost in the mix. It’s hard to constantly remember why you are doing something when all you see at the moment is the investment of money and time that is being put into it. Writer Brandon Busteed does a great job at explaining how college is not just something one should accomplish for the purpose of their job but also for the purpose of their overall life. For most college kids, their parents fill their thoughts with the idea that if you want a good job you have to go to college and that’s the one and only reason why we go to college. Having that idea in your head is actually not a good thing and it’s because of the simple fact that it is not enough to motivate someone to feel like college is worth it. Like I mentioned before, it’s easy to lose the purpose in the midst of everything else. As we all know, college has become a big-time investment and it’s nowhere near what it costed years ago. Since the times have changed and people see the amount of money that it cost to receive an education and get that degree, there needs to be more than just a good job in the very far future.
    I really enjoyed reading this because personally I find myself stressing the idea of college and thinking about how important it is to be here. I know that at the end of the day, I am doing it for a good reason, and these are the years where I am supposed to learn the most and get ready for my future as an adult. An important quote that I know will stick with me is “find the most purpose in and from work” (Busteed). Having purpose is a very important element of life, it’s a sense of motivation, and of course guidance. Not a lot of people focus on their purpose or understand why they are even doing somethings and in the long run, this will not lead to progress and a purposeful life. Sometimes college is not as helpful and as productive as one wishes it could be, the article reads, “college is both preparing people for a job and to thrive in their overall lives” (Busteed). There are times when I have been placed with a professor who was extremely unmotivated and uninspired. Although college is supposed to really prepare us for a thriving, and successful life, professors like these are like a bump in the road and might even take away that purpose or motivation from the student’s mind. Thankfully this professor did not affect my work ethic or the way I think about college and I simply understood that not everyone is going to be a great person. To conclude, the entire college experience is supposed to shape a young adult into a future thriving and successful adult. Even though it is easy to forget why college is important and what it’s real purpose is, I’ll always think back to this article and how helpful it was in snapping me back to reality.

  17. Alexander Dornbierer May 3, 2019 at 2:10 pm #

    Back in the 1970s and 1980s when my parents went to school, a college degree wasn’t needed to receive a job. But in today’s world, a college education is vital in the job search. A job that would only need a high school diploma now needs a college degree. People are now starting to even think if college is worth it. With the tuition of both state and private schools growing and the growing interest rate on student loans the price for attending college is getting so extravagant people are contemplating if the investment is worth pay out. Why pay $125,000 in tuition payments to get a job that pays $60,000 a year. The article discusses the two different views that people have on college. One view is that college prepares the student for a job. Giving them the certain skills in order to succeed in their future jobs. Another group say that college prepares the individual for success in life. Homing in their communication skills, critical thinking, and being prepared to live a fulfilling life. When looking at both of these options I believe that the purpose of college is to prepare the student for success in their career. Knowledge is a gift that you tale where ever to go, and college is the prefect place to gain such knowledge. Learning how to succeed in your up and coming career is more important than learning how to succeed in life. You can learn valuable life skills in many other areas of your life. You shouldn’t dedicate college to teaching yourself life skills over career skills. While some skills may be covered in both areas, I do believe that college is worth it when thinking of the knowledge that you are getting towards your future degree. With the raise of tuition and student loans, some people aren’t even going to college. I can see how they thinks that it is reasonable. Graduating with $100,000 in debt and paying it off until your 45 years old. Who wants to do that? I am lucky enough that I won’t have to worry about debt, that is something that I can never thank my parents enough.

  18. Raymond Wilkinson IV May 3, 2019 at 6:42 pm #

    This article resonates with me as I myself seriously contemplated going to college. Initially I saw no use in higher education. I felt it was just a waste of time and money. My parents, however, gave me no choice. It was either go to college or get out of the house. I left high school wanting to go straight into work and start making money. I felt I could make a better life for myself faster by joining a union and just jumping into work. Regardless of the fight I put up with my parents they stayed firm on their stance that college was mandatory. More high school graduates are going to college than ever, recent studies show 73.4 percent of high school graduates are going to college. So obviously college is important and even with rising tuition holds the same maybe even more value than it has. I can thank my parents for forcing me into college because after recent study I have learned that by going to college on average you will earn 1 million dollars more than someone has chosen not to over a lifetime. And by choosing to not go to college you are letting an extra 17,500 dollars go every year. College will always be necessary to advance in the world as a regular person. I feel the purpose of college is to continue your education and place yourself in a better situation to make a living in life. Below is a link with information on college grads vs high school grads https://www.cornerstone.edu/blogs/lifelong-learning-matters/post/do-college-grads-really-earn-more-than-high-school-grads

  19. Brandon Cassidy May 23, 2019 at 10:03 am #

    I have always thought of college as a necessity and as something that I must complete in order to start my life. I have never really put too much thought into “what’s the purpose of college”, I have always just figured that it’s something I have to complete. I think that this comes from the way that I was raised because all of my family has gone to college starting with my grandparents. If I decided not to go to college the rest of my family would look down on me causing me to feel like a failure.
    This article raises a very good point that we must be clear on the purpose of college in order to make the most of it. This is very hard for some individuals who are rushed into college right out of high school because these individuals may not have any idea of what they want to do with their lives when they enter college. This is becoming more and more prevalent in society as “recent studies show 73.4 percent of high school graduates are going to college” (Busteed). The results of being rushed into college can be disastrous because the individual being rushed may not discover what he or she is really passionate about until the end of his or her college career. Following this a situation is created where the individual is too deep into his or her current major or degree and he or she cannot change his or her major without spending more time and money on school. This is something that I think needs to be mentioned in this article because it seems to be a major trend in today’s society that needs to be addressed so that college graduates can find purposeful work.
    My biggest takeaway from this article is that “Helping graduates achieve purposeful work may indeed be the purpose of college” (Busteed). This seems to be entirely true today as those who get a chance to reflect on their experiences and partake in an internship, or work opportunity get the most out of college as stated in the article. This is most likely due to the fact that the person gets to see what type of work he or she will be doing when he or she graduates. By seeing what type of work the college student has more knowledge of the field, a valuable work experience and a professional network. All three of these concepts will help the student reflect and make a better career decision which will lead to the graduate finding purposeful work.

  20. Jessica F May 24, 2019 at 6:24 pm #

    What is the purpose of college? This Forbes article identifies two major ideas of the meaning of this, to help students find jobs and the other to help students become well rounded members of society. I agree with both of these points of view, but I think that you need one to support the other. While yes, the obvious main purpose of college is to gain the credibility and knowledge to obtain a job once you graduate, in order to be successful in that role students need to learn how to function in other capacities besides the content area they are going into. The experience of college plays into this. Having to live with a roommate, being responsible for getting up on time and cooking and managing a busy schedule. College teaches students more than business core or English, it teaches them practical skills they will use the rest of their lives. Living on campus gives students a chance to be on their own possibly for the first time in their lives, and that is a defining time for them. Students learn a lot about themselves when given all of the freedom they could possibly ask for, which molds them into who they truly are. They learn to problem solve real world problems with friends and roommates, how to handle adult situations, and more.
    Another aspect of college is learning how to become accustomed to the workplace and that future they strive for. Having an internship is a crucial part to a college career, especially to a business major. It doesn’t surprise me that the “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” because I experienced that firsthand. I had an internship this year, my first one, as well as a new mentor who was guiding me through the internship process. Without having the encouragement from my mentor, and the sense of purpose given to me from my internship and all of the benefits of it, I would not have been as driven as I was to do a good job. My purpose was not only to hopefully get a job offer out of the internship, but to live up to expectations set by myself, my mentor, and my supervisors at work. Having a purpose is a great driver, but college gives everyone such a different experience and everyone learns different things through their personal experiences and endeavors, that it is hard to determine whether its purpose is to spit out workers, or functional members of society. It all depends on how you take the experience and work with it and how the student makes it their own.

  21. Julia Collins May 24, 2019 at 10:27 pm #

    As I near the end of my college career and reflect on my experiences and memories that I’ve made thus far, I’ve started to conclude just how important a college education is. My parents did not go to college nor did they force me to attend. I wanted to go because I knew that I wanted to further my education and gain a once in a life time experience. College helps individuals find themselves and figure out their strengths and weaknesses. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I first came to college. I had to experience a little bit of everything until I knew what I was really passionate about. It wasn’t until the middle of my sophomore year that I chose marketing as my major. As referenced in the article ‘What’s the Purpose of College’, “Work is not just about a paycheck; it’s also about a purpose. Helping graduates achieve purposeful work may indeed be the purpose of college” (Busteed). I truly believe that everyone should enjoy what they’re doing because you’re going to be doing it for a while and no one should be miserable at work.
    With that being said, I agree with author Brandon Busteed that we should focus on what the purpose of college is rather than whether college was worth it or not. College is not for everyone and I personally think that not every job should require a college degree. Jobs such as an executive assistant and other jobs can be learned through on-the-job training. It is ridiculously expensive to go to school and a majority of us end up in school debt which causes a lot of stress. It’s not easy to find a job after school either, and many individuals aren’t lucky enough to get a job right away. In my opinion, jobs such as Doctors and Lawyers should still require a degree because the field calls for a level of risk that is just too high to learn on the job. Nevertheless, in today’s society everyone needs to get a degree in order to have a decent job and make a decent living because the number of college graduates is soaring. Even if school is not for you, in order to be a competitive candidate for a, we all need a degree.

    Reference:
    Busteed, Brandon. “What’s The Purpose Of College?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 23 Apr. 2019,
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/brandonbusteed/2019/04/10/whats-the-purpose-of-college/amp/?__twitter_impression=true.

  22. Nicole Briones June 7, 2019 at 10:39 pm #

    For me, not going to college has never been an option. Although neither of my parents graduated from college, I could never see myself not going because I was always told that without a degree, I would not get a good job. But as much as people might push you to go to college and continue your education, they fail to mention the many, many loans that will come with your degree. For most of us, paying $40,000-$70,000 a year for four years is almost impossible, so we opt to take out loans to cover our tuition. This quick fix might seem great at the time, but what we, as 18-year-olds ready to work towards our degree aren’t told is that interest rates can almost double the amount of your loans, and you are charged interest before you even have graduate. Also, many people have trouble finding jobs after graduating and many of them do not even make enough to try and catch up with their college debt. I think the stigma around not having a college degree is extremely unfair. Many people are very quick to assume that people do not go to college because they are lazy, when in reality, the average American cannot afford these ridiculously high tuitions. There is about $1.56 trillion in student loan debt in the United States and about 44.7 million Americans make up this debt. People also consider those who have college degrees as being more superior or more intelligent than those who do not. Studies have shown that most employers will not even consider someone without a degree depending on the position.
    I do understand that college is important, because many career paths do require in depth knowledge of certain subjects such as doctors who are constantly learning new things every day, but I have also heard the phrase “once you get out of college you won’t need to know that, you will learn everything you need to know on the job.” Having this said to you and even having this in the back of your mind really makes you question if college is even necessary. Now a days, the internet can even educate you on most things. So, this really makes me question if college is even necessary and ask myself why we are not just taught the necessary things and leave out having to take general classes in college and learning things we will not need. I personally prefer hands on learning methods rather than listening to a lecture for hours. I feel like this style of teaching is a lot more effective because it allows you to be forced to focus on the task that you are completing. Some of the world’s most innovative and wealthy people were college drop outs. For example, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg all did not complete college. They are some of the world’s most wealthy and successful people, and they are a prime example of learning things on the job.
    As expensive as college might be, it gives you endless opportunities that you most likely would not have gotten elsewhere. Being able to build relationships with your professors that have had years of experience in their fields is extremely beneficial. Also, colleges do make it a priority to expose you to employers and give you the opportunity to get your foot in the door which can be extremely helpful for those who are more introverted. On the other hand, for those who might not have access to these opportunities, there are social media platforms that are geared towards allowing professionals to network such as LinkedIn. Not only are there social media platforms to help you network, but also attending local conferences about specific topics you are interested in can allow you these same opportunities.
    In conclusion, as important and beneficial as college might be, I do think that there are more negatives than positives. Because we live in generation that is very technology and data driven, almost anything can be learned by simply googling it. Also, college debt can be a life- long stressor, as well as not being paid as much as you expected graduating from college, and even not being able to find a job. I think that there have been many success stories from people who did not attend college, but I also feel as if now a days it is almost necessary when finding a job because you are respected and valued more than those who do not have a degree.

  23. Brandon Medici June 11, 2019 at 6:31 pm #

    I didn’t have a choice when it came to college. Both of my parents went to college, though only one of them graduated, and the reason why they wanted me to go to college was so I would have an easier time finding a job. The purpose of college is to prepare students for the real world and help them find a career in the field they wish to study. Also, people of any age can enroll into college, as long as they graduated high school, if they want to get a degree so they can get a better job to support themselves and their family, if they have one, because someone can only go so far up in a job without putting in the extra effort to move up, so a college degree would help someone move up in a company more easily, and the result would be getting a better pay. Lastly, I agree with the author when he said that with cost of college tuition rising, people have been considering if it is worth going to college because they would be paying a lot of money for college tuition, and it would be a waste of money if they feel that college is not helping them in the slightest.
    I agree with Nicole Briones that most professions require a college degree because professions like being a doctor or a lawyer, requires an in depth understanding of the subject that the profession is in. In order to become a doctor or a lawyer, people would need a bachelor’s degree in their respected major, then they would have to go to grad school to get their masters, and they would also have to have some experience in their field from either through volunteering or through an internship. Lastly, I agree with Brandon Cassidy that the article makes a good point that we have to understand the purpose of college to make the most out of it because if college students do not know the purpose of college, then they would not have good time at school because they will end up stressing themselves out trying to get everything under control without asking for a\help or advice.

  24. Tiffany Lyn September 6, 2019 at 12:10 am #

    Parents and students both wonder whether college is worth the cost but before answering that question they must understand the purpose of college. College prepares a person for work and makes them more appealing to the job market. It also gives the person life experience which makes them deeper thinkers, better communicators and successful in their profession. My parents think differently about how necessary college is. My mom doesn’t have a high school diploma or any college experience, but she independently immigrated to two countries by the time she was 22 years old. She views college as a certification that allows a person to work the high skilled job they want. I’ve learned from her path that real job experience, traveling, speaking more than one language and having confidence in my abilities can take me far. She’s told me she doesn’t care whether I attend college or not. She would still be supportive of me if I attended trade school or enlisted in the military. Productivity and a plan for the future is important to us both. My dad has a degree in accounting and knows college teaches self-discipline ad also shows employers one is capable of showing up on time, producing good work and communicating effectively with others. With that being said, his career has no correlation to his degree, nor does it require one. He places value on the respect people who earn degrees automatically get from other people. He has both white collar and blue collar work experience and that has exposed him to many different people/lifestyles. I think college is completely optional because I don’t see the purpose in spending thousands of dollars and many years of learning toward something with little personal value. I want to be in college and earn a business degree to work a corporate job. I’ve actually found more enlightenment working real jobs rather than being in a classroom. I cannot stand my retail job but after speaking to my stores district manager I see myself working a job like that. I also baby sit for a professional football player. Sports/sports management have never been on my radar but after speaking to my employer I think working for a sports firm is an ideal job. College is only worth it to a person who values it and is willing to dedicate years to earning it.

  25. Jackson Beltrandi September 6, 2019 at 12:24 pm #

    As college degrees become less valuable, and more expensive, most intelligent consumers are re-evaluating the ROI from college. It is evident that a college education is more important than it was a few decades ago, but many new high school graduates are reconsidering signing up for at least four more years of expensive learning. Personally, during my application process and just high school in general, I was very lazy and did not care about my future that much. I listened to what my parents and guidance counselors would say and ended up at Seton Hall. I can answer one thing for sure, college gave me an extra year to figure myself out and grasp what I aspire to be for my career choice. The stigma around college is that you are paying among thousands of dollars just to get a job to pay that off. While that partially may be true, college is more than just getting a job. This article highlights that those who are more driven and passionate about their education, get ten times more out of their college experience. Brandon Busteed, the author of the article, explains that college not only serve a job-seeking purpose, but ALSO a enlightenment experience. Those who just go to class and have tunnel vision on acquiring a job out of college, do not thrive with any elements of life. The overwhelming amount of college students studied in this survey found that it is essential to find a sense of purpose from their work: “For graduates with low levels of purpose in their work, only 6% are thriving in their overall well-being. But graduates with high purpose in their work are ten times more likely to be thriving in their well-being (59%)!” This glaring statistic explains that in order to get both a job and a life-enlightening experience out of college, those who attend college must be driven to learn, and be passionate about what they are studying. Just because someone graduates college, they are not ready to be successful in life. In the essence of this article, success comes from being driven in your work and being satisfied that what you are doing is making a positive difference.

  26. Emily Rodger September 6, 2019 at 1:36 pm #

    What is the purpose of college? The answer to this question varies from person to person. In previous generations, college was not a necessary means to get a well paying job. In today’s day and age, it seems to be almost impossible to get a decent job without some sort of degree in hand. For me, college seemed to have always been apart of the plan. I think that college is a beneficial experience and will definitely be worth my time, but I also know that it is not for everyone. Especially today, college can be very costly, and not everyone in society can afford to go. There have been many cases of people who have not gone to college, and still are well off in life even without the degree. Experiences like these make me question whether college is truly worth it. Why am I spending thousands of dollars to gain an education just for a piece of paper? If someone were to ask me what I thought the purpose of college was, I do not think I could give a true answer. Honestly, I do not know which side of the debate I believe more in. College is good for both gaining an education and for life experiences, but I am not 100 percent certain if it is really a necessity to becoming successful. Especially since the rise of social media, many people also known as “influencers” have become successful and well off in life without the need of a college degree. Overall, the purpose of college is what the individual makes of it. Some people value it fully and believe it is the way to living a successful life. Others believe there is no purpose to college at all and choose to find a way to be successful without it. In the end, the purpose of college is different for every single person within society.

  27. Mia Ferrante September 6, 2019 at 2:30 pm #

    The price of attending a college or university continues to rise every year and many students are left paying for their student loans years after they graduate. With more and more occupations requiring a degree, attending college is crucial to a student’s success in today’s workforce. Finding a well-rounded job that pays well and has good benefits for the rest of your life is nearly impossible to find without a college degree nowadays. Although it does seem like many students are going to college to find a well-paying job that will ultimately pay off their student loans, but it might not be a job that they genuinely enjoy. College is supposed to be the best four years of your life, and I know for me that I don’t want to spend four-plus years studying to get a degree that I will not use in the future, which I feel is becoming more and more common. Students choose a topic of study without knowing what their future job truly entails, and they find themselves unhappy in the career they are pursuing. This often leads to them finding a different job in which their degree is not needed, which doesn’t necessarily mean four years of college was a waste, but they put in all the time, effort, and money for something they could’ve gone without. So to answer the question, “what is the purpose of college” I do not believe there is a direct answer. One’s purpose of college differs from person to person. Some are just in it for the fun, and others are going to college to pursue their dream job. Personally, college is something that has always been an option for me. Neither of my parents went to college, and they managed to be successful, yet they strongly urged me to go to college to further my education because it’s something they wish they had done. I come from a large family, but I am the only one who is on track to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree. I am also the youngest in my family and I know that 10, or even 20 years ago college was an option, but many people did not find it necessary to find a job that made them successful that pays for their cost of living. I am grateful to have the opportunity to go to school 400 miles away from home and get the support I have from my family and friends because I know some kids dream of that. In just my second year at Seton Hall, I have learned so many things about myself that I did not learn in my prior 18 years of life, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to be here.

  28. Zachary Crockett September 13, 2019 at 2:16 pm #

    The age-old question, is college worth it? Throughout generations, society’s stigma has only grown with the importance of college. The 21st student has been affected by it the most. College no longer feels as an option, but as a necessity. The verbatim is lodged into our skulls throughout elementary, middle school, high school and even college of achieving higher education. It is to believe and not question that the higher the education, the higher the job security. Statistics will prove this to be true, but does college reveal who we truly are? Does college, at the end all, allow us to be happy with our career choice? As a sophomore in college, and very well more educated than I was before entering this institution, how insane must it be to ask a teenage boy or girl to decide their future for the rest of their life? College represents a car with no brakes. As long as you are lucky to know your desired path and passion, you will be fine, but what if you are a junior, 75 credits in, and you decide that finance is not for you and medical is. Well, how can you possibly afford to redirect your decision? Colleges make it impossible to venture off into different ideas. With those 75 credits, most likely none of which, or if you are lucky a few transfer over, there is a low profitable or realistic chance of turning that car around and starting over. College, correctly, is about enhancing your work and social skills, but colleges seem to forget the purpose in allowing students to discover themselves. How could one possibly know their interest in medical when their only required course was a essentially a high school level physics course that they dreaded sitting in every drawn-out lecture by a professor who does not even know them, while cramming useless information into their brain. All in all, colleges do their due diligence by allowing students to perfect their life and work skills but fail to give them the oppurtunity to discover what truly and sincerely makes their existence worth living.

  29. Mikaela Battaglia September 13, 2019 at 4:27 pm #

    It is no secret that the price of attending college has become heavily inflated in the last few decades. There are many reasons for this, some being the innovation of new technology, government funding, and jobs who are seeking educated workers. However, the inflation price of college has become somewhat tacky. To get a good job nowadays, one must earn a degree from an esteemed college and in many cases, also a master’s degree in their specified field of study. Because employers are only looking for educated, well spoken, and hard-working individuals, college has become a necessity in most American’s lives to get a job.
    Although many see college as a great learning experience and one’s first step into independence, in many cases it does not prepare students properly for actual work in the real world. Many people have found that they were denied a promotion or job because of lack of knowledge that one believes they should learn in college. Also, many students who go to work right out of college find that they need to learn a lot more about what their job entails from their employers or just gaining more experience in general. They have to rely on their employers to teach them how to do the job they went to college four years to learn how to do. This is unacceptable, considering college is so highly esteemed nowadays.
    This article discusses the importance of graduates to have a feeling of purpose from their work which does indeed help when arguing the “purpose of college”. However, how much does college help students prepare for their real-world jobs? Unless a student interns at a firm or volunteers at a hospital, they will have no real exposure to the actual field that they are pursuing for their career. This is more so up to the student to seek out, rather than the college itself requiring certain hours spent observing and participating in their field of study.
    In general, the purpose of college is simple – to get a good job to be able to support oneself and any future endeavors. College has become the ticket into the real world, and without it one will not be taken seriously when applying for a job.

  30. James Koerner September 17, 2019 at 4:17 pm #

    Ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius said, “Find a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” The majority of people, however, will not find work that they love due to the lack of a feeling of purpose in their work. The article states a study that was conducted by a Gallup-Bates College study. One key point that the study mentioned was only 38% of college graduates have a job that is providing a strong sense of purpose to them. Today, the importance of obtaining a college degree is becoming more and more stressed as the number of low-skill jobs are diminishing and the number of high-skill jobs that require a college degree are increasing. This means that those without college degrees are getting less flexibility in the job market today then they did twenty years ago, for example. According to the Economic Policy Institute, about two-thirds of those in the workforce do not have a college degree (https://www.epi.org/publication/almost-two-thirds-of-people-in-the-labor-force-do-not-have-a-college-degree/). This means that the third that have a degree have more flexibility of job selection than the two-thirds that don’t have a degree. If only 38% of college graduates find their work to provide a strong sense of purpose, then that number is probably much lower among the two-thirds that don’t have a degree, as well as the overall population of working Americans. The article outlines the fact that purpose of getting a degree is to help those find a purposeful career. Those without a degree, which are the 66% as mentioned, may have a much more difficult time of finding a job that gives them a sense of purpose.
    Although the article suggests that going to college is a way for people to find purposeful work, it certainly isn’t the only way for people to find purpose in their work. Today, there are roughly 2.1 million people in the United States military, which includes both active personnel and those in the reserves. According to multiple articles, which includes one by The Military Wallet, the number one reason why people join the military is because it is honorable and gives those that join a sense of duty (https://themilitarywallet.com/reasons-to-join-the-military/). That duty certainly serves as a huge purpose to join the military, and it gives those 2.1 million the feeling of purpose in their day-to-day work. As already stated, the article by Forbes states the study that only 38% of college graduates find their work to have a strong feeling of purpose to them. While I could not find a statistic other than the fact that the top reason why people join the military is because it provides a sense of duty, I would imagine that the percentage of those in the military that feel like their work is purposeful is much higher than 38%. From this, we can conclude that in fact that college is not necessary to attend for one to find a purposeful career, as the military is one major example in which people can find perhaps the most purposeful work that there is without any college degree.
    I believe it is important that the article introduces the fact that college serves two main purposes, which is to prepare people to find a good job and to help build life success for them. It says that college does both of these, rather than one and not the other. It then lists the study that that was conducted, which certainly brings up some strong points that finding purposeful work can be achieved by going to college. On the flip side, the article can be a bit misleading, as it almost makes the reader believe that going to college is the only way to find purposeful work. I used the military as an example, since going into the military does not require any degree and it may be the most purposeful work there is. As I mentioned in my first paragraph, though, two-thirds of the labor force do not have a college degree, and certainly not all of them are in the military either, so there are more than likely many people that have to work low-skill jobs that do not provide any purpose to them because they are not competitive and qualified enough for a high-skilled job. I believe the article provides great context on why finding purposeful work is so important, but I also believe it fails in offering alternative ways on how people can find their work to be meaningful.

  31. Alyssa Bromke September 18, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

    After reading this article and reading a few comments made, I believe that college is not optional anymore but what you make of it is optional. There are many ways of looking at going to college. I agree with Doran Abdi when they suggested that it is necessary to be successful in the working force to now obtain a college education. I like the term Abdi used in saying that thought process is outdated. Although it is not a feeling everyone has it is a popular thought.
    There are many people who feel as though college will not help them in the life they would like to pursue. Similarly people may not agree with this because of the timing. Non traditional routes of college are becoming more popular. New America, published a blog about the fact that over the past decade non traditional college students are increasing. I think that these statistics prove that it is “worth it” to go to college. The non traditional students are people who have gone out into the working world for at least a year and have found that it would be more beneficial in the end to go back to school and get a higher education.
    Furthermore, the college system is set up for you to pick a college that will educate you in your particular field. I believe that the field and college you personally pick determines your personal “success” in and out of college. For example, I picked Rider University because of it’s accounting program. I wanted my field of study to be in accounting and Rider has a well known program for such. On the other hand, Rider, for example, has a very new and small engineering program. If you are going for engineering and you come to Rider you may not feel as satisfied with your college experience as someone like myself may.
    Also, because of the level of the program you are enrolled in you may have more educational connections to the real world. For example, in my internship I am doing things that I actually learned in my auditing class. I attribute that to Rider’s high levels of educational programs for accounting majors. If the program had a lower standard of education than I may not feel as content with my education to work relationship.
    Focusing on a field of study in college, I believe, is the point. College is to further your knowledge, whether for personal or financial gains. If you have a high standard for yourself in the work you do, college is necessary. I do not believe that college will help you generally in your life. Yes, of course, you have generic education classes you have to take, but, Chinese calligraphy, as a global culture class is not practical nor will it be anything but a party trick I forget within 5 years. On the other hand, my tax and auditing classes I am taking now will directly affect my work.
    In conclusion, I believe that college is necessary in this time period. But it is not “worth it” if you go into the wrong programs or if you go into college thinking that you will get a bunch of general practical knowledge.

  32. Jessica Romero September 20, 2019 at 1:13 pm #

    College is not cheap, and as prices keep sky rocketing the future generations will truly ask is it worth it? To some it may be a life changing experience, to others it’s just partying for four years. The college experience is truly what you make of it. Sometimes I even ask is it still worth it? At this point, most jobs expect a bachelor’s degree and it is said to be equivalent to a high school diploma. Not to dismiss the value of what a college education can bring, it is not for everyone. In the article the main two purposes of college is to prepare a person for work and to learn how to thrive in their overall lives. Usually these 17/18 year old kids have no idea what they want so they go to college because that’s a society norm, and this a very expensive way of to find your purpose. This question of college’s purpose should be introduced early on so students and parents don’t waste their money on a higher education. For example a friend of mine went to college for photography, but she regrets it, she learned real world experience by working, and networking at events. College taught her how to edit photos, take certain angles and create a portfolio but she said she could’ve looked that up through YouTube. She doesn’t fully discredit them because she did have a lot of exposure because of what her school offered. She was able to take photos at New York Fashion Week and intern at a prestigious company. While I think society pushes everyone to go college, students never seem to take the time and just think, what is my purpose at college? What do I want in life? I’ve struggled myself with finding my purpose and thinking if college was for me or not. I’ve transferred from a fashion school to Seton Hall and it is truly night and day. One’s thoughts on college truly depend on their history, culture and their current environment. Being from a Hispanic household, my parents didn’t give me an option as to whether I wanted to go to college, it was mandatory. The main problem I see these days is that no one works in the field that they pursued a degree in. What’s the point of wasting your time taking courses that you have no interest in? If one were to plan out their interests and what exactly their purpose and what fulfills them they will truly be successful in college. I believe high school should teach courses that allow students to explore different majors and not set them up for failure. Personally, I didn’t know what I wanted to do in college hence me transferring from school to school. I believe I am on the right path with the work I want to pursue in marketing and the exposure I’ve experienced at a corporate level. I work better in a structured corporate environment, I’ve worked for big companies for a long time and I truly enjoy it. All in all, college isn’t for everyone and if necessary take a year off after high school to gather your thoughts and truly find your purpose. I think it’s truly unfair for students who only seem to have an interest in partying for four years, to take the place of someone who actually has a purpose and parents are working ends meet to pay for their college education.

  33. Anthony Whelan September 20, 2019 at 1:33 pm #

    With the cost of tuition seemingly rising every year, it makes sense that more and more people are contemplating whether college is worth it. For many Americans, myself included, society has ingrained in us the idea of going off to college and then entering a promising career as the main path to success. It has gotten to the point where you are expected to go to college, even if it realistically might not be the best path for your future. I do agree that the core question to decide whether or not college is worth it is what the student is trying to gain from their college experience. For many, the goal of college is to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to excel in your career. I think this is because American culture heavily emphasizes the importance of a stable nine-to-five job, arguably to a fault. If this is a student’s goal, then college is likely worthwhile. Many universities offer job fairs, connections to internship opportunities, and resources to prepare for interviews, along with the education centered upon their desired field. However, the article also alludes to the fact that a career is not the sole determinant of a person’s happiness.
    The article states that 80 percent of graduates believe it is important to find purpose in their work, but only 38 percent achieve this. This is an alarming discrepancy because those who have not found purpose in their work likely feel as though college was not worth the cost of admission. I think the reason they feel this way is because they viewed tuition and their efforts as an investment they anticipated would result in a high paying job, in the field they wanted, that would give them a sense of fulfillment. Unfortunately, the reality is that it is very difficult to find a job that satisfies all three of these hopes, and many people fail to do so. I think for most people it is impossible to feel completely fulfilled in life as a result of your career. One of the more overlooked benefits of the college experience is the task of managing time on your own. Many courses require extensive time and mental energy to succeed, and there are plenty of fun activities on campuses that you could spend time enjoying instead. I believe that finding a balance between work you find fulfilling and doing other activities you enjoy is the key to happiness as an adult, and colleges provide an excellent training ground for balancing your time to maximize your success and happiness, making it worth the cost of admission.

  34. Walter Dingwall September 20, 2019 at 5:19 pm #

    I came to the northeastern United States from Vancouver, Canada, taking the risk of spending tens of thousands of dollars to attend a university for a degree in Math Finance. I could have stayed home and took online courses and gotten a job simply so. I could have gone to a cheaper school close to home and commuted. I could have stuck around the same people for as long as possible and woke up the same as yesterday. But, as Professor Shannon suggests, we should try to “think different,” drawing from an Apple Inc. slogan during the turn of the millennium.
    At any post-secondary institution, students have the advantage of being a part of an academic environment for a few more years than those who have gone from high school to a job, or those who lay about in waiting for tomorrow. With this, regarding Brandon Busteed’s article, part of the time at school is spent asking what the point is. I seem to be able to come up with answers to this when it arises, and it’s not always the same, though it is often growing.
    I’ve spent my sophomore year looking for every opportunity to put myself in front of people I would wish to communicate with in the future. The school encourages networking, and rightly so. The events and the people that pass through a campus are so rarely found outside of the university environment. This facilitation is a large savior from the hassle, and hustle, that one would have to go through if they did not go to university.
    With the ability to be introduced to people in fields I may be involved in later, this creates a broader window of opportunity, and a broader site of the world as a biproduct. This is one of the greatest strengths a human can have: the ability to see and interact with more of the world using multiple perspectives. Again, “think different.”
    I left the home three-thousand miles behind, with the idea that I would reinvent myself, adding experiences I never could have back home. I have done so a plan on continuing so.
    In speaking with Professor Tony Loviscek (someone who I would have only met by coming to Seton Hall), I have heard about the concepts of seekers and settlers, and I refuse to be a settler. As a seeker, there is always somewhere to be and something to learn. With the seeker ideals, I greater wealth of knowledge can be obtained, and more thought can be created regarding what I can do next and why I should do it.
    Now, there is such a concern for the money that is being spent by students and families, some of which is from taking out loans. This monetary valuation of worth can talk people so deeply into or so far away from choices. What I have learned listening to retirees and older professors is how much they value the things they’ve learned and the people that they have met. It is an alternative definition of wealth. I’ve brought to a more concern idea that “one’s wealth can be determined by their bookshelf.” This bookshelf is not necessarily physical, though, I have come across some of great breadth. It refers to the idea that one has many hooks to hang things on and has touched so many facets of life with many perspectives to view them from. I plan on having a large bookshelf by the time I am gone. And I plan on using as much of my time as possible to extend my breadth of experience. That is a great deal of my reasoning to attend university.

  35. Rahul S September 20, 2019 at 5:41 pm #

    After reading this article on the purpose of college, it got me thinking about why I decided to go to college. Throughout my life it was always implied that I would attend a 4-year college. From a young age, my parents told me that if I wanted to make money and be able to provide for a family I have to go to college. College was essential in order to obtain a good job. As stated in the article, most people believe college is for two reasons. One, to get a job and two, to prepare a person for success in their life. All throughout middle school and even elementary school, the end goal was always college. I believe that college is an essential part of a young adult’s life. To me, both reasons are true. I chose to apply to colleges and attend a college because I want to obtain a good job after and also to mature and learn valuable lessons while at college. The most valuable lesson to be learned by going to college to me, is being able to communicate well with people. This helps to prepare people for working life as well as regular life, communicating with others.
    The price of college has a big impact on whether people can attend college or not. As the article mentioned, college tuition is rising at astronomical levels. This, in turn, increases the amount of financial aid people will need to attend college. This will leave students with an absurd amount of debt. With no guarantee of a good job after college, many people are left with the feeling that after the 4 years, they spent a good amount of money for nothing and will continue to pay for it for a long time. Being from New Jersey, many of my friends opted to attend our local community college for 2 years with the intention of continuing their education at a 4-year college. The article states that 80 percent of graduates believe it is important to find purpose in their work, but only 38 percent achieve this, so it brings up the question of what the purpose of college really is.

  36. Kevn Orcutt September 20, 2019 at 8:17 pm #

    This was a very interesting study that forbes was able to conduct about this question. While I agree with their main conclusion being that if we find what we are doing purposeful, we are 10x more likely to succeed at what it is. This was specifically related to college, but I think that they it is also in general too. You do not have to go to college and get a job from a degree to have something purposeful to you. Many people want to become laborers or public servants and find purpose in that, which does not require going to college. For some people it is just not right for. If you are constantly asking yourself that question of “what is the purpose of college” because you cannot find it yourself, that might not be the area that is meant for you. College is not the only thing that can prepare you for a job and life and can be done on our own. This might be the exact way that leads us to our true purpose.

  37. Javier Tovar September 20, 2019 at 8:35 pm #

    When I think of what the purpose of college, I think about many things that I want college to do for me. As a business undecided student, I still have many questions that need to be answered before I declare a specific major. The good thing about Seton Hall University is that they do focus on both purposes of college from the article. When first entering college the first question I was asked was who are you? The second question was who do you want to be? I think those two questions were very important for me because they truly make me think well and hard about who I am and who I want to be. In my opinion college is about finding out who you want to be and developing yourself into that person.
    College is very crucial in developing young students to be able to function in today’s world and society. College does a very good job at doing this. I do believe college is responsible for bettering students to thrive in life in general. If it was all about just preparing students for work, then there would be no guarantee if a student likes their job. This can then decrease overall efficiency a student has when going into the workforce. I know that if I can’t find my occupation gratifying, I won’t be able to perform to the best of my ability or be happy in life at all for that matter.
    If students can’t find a purpose in their work, then why even bother going to college. It defeats the whole purpose of college if you can’t help students find purpose their work. They can’t thrive in life without finding their purpose in life first. Therefore, I agree with the article when it says it’s time to stop debating about whether college is about preparing you for a job or about preparing you for life. The purpose of college needs to be both because I believe you can’t be efficient at a job if you don’t even know your own purpose in life. That’s why it is good that in my own experiences at school, I have seen both purposes being fulfilled at Seton Hall University.

  38. Liam H September 20, 2019 at 8:45 pm #

    The topic of whether or not going to college is worth it is something every kid faces as they are finishing high school. As the article mentions, college tuition is only increasing. To determine whether or not the “return of investment” is worth it all depends on what career path you are looking to pursue. For example, people who want to be a doctor, lawyer, or enter the business world, it is essentially mandatory to go to college and earn your degree in your desired field. On the other hand, if you desire to enter a union such as the construction or electrical union, the only thing that is valuable is a good work ethic and work experience. Some people are not meant to go to college, but for the most part it is necessary for most people to earn their degree in order to earn a well-paying job.
    When it comes to the purpose of college, the author brings up a very relevant point when he discusses the two primarily professes purposes of college. The first purpose is to help a person earn a good or better job then what they would receive with no college or degree. College teaches a person specifically on how to succeed in their desired business field through learning the skills and attributes necessary to be able to complete their profession correctly. The second purpose for college discussed by the author is to prepare its students for life in the real world. Along with teaching students about their chosen field, universities aim to mold their students into intelligent, well-spoken individuals that will hopefully be valuable contributors to society.
    After reading this article, my perspective on college was positively altered. Although it can definitely be looked at as overpriced, there are many positive aspects that make it purposeful and important. There are very few ways to achieve a successful job without earning a degree and the experience of learning from highly educated professors will help young adults become higher contributors to society and more knowledgeable.

  39. Nia Carrasco September 20, 2019 at 9:03 pm #

    After reading the article, I took a very different outlook on my perspective of college and the purpose it serves to young people’s lives. There has always been a debate on whether college is worth it. Worth the time, worth the money, worth taking out the loans, and worth falling into debt that would takes years to pay off. With such a highly competitive job market and an overflow of kids fresh out of college ready to work, but with no experience to get the position, you have to wonder if it really is the smartest route to take? An alternative that many high school graduates like to take are going to school online and working menial job on the side or go to technical school for a year and get an intensive labor job with little to no benefits. Unfortunately, those kids miss out on the experience of college. College comes with so many life lessons that need to be learned before entering the work force and the adult world. It teaches you life skills like how to be on your own, make your own food, keep your living space clean, and take care of yourself. You get to interact with kids your own age going through all the same experiences and struggles, and those become your friends for life, people that you might even call family. It also teaches you how to be a professional, how to take responsibility for all your own work, with such strict deadlines and pressurized grading from your professors, you really have to step up the caliber of work that you are used to submitting. A college degree will help you be considered in a huge pool of candidates for one job and can be the thing that sets you apart from all the others. Also, without a college degree, things such as your salary take a hit. For example, in my personal life, my mother is one of the hardest workers I know, but she will never make a six-figure salary because she lacks that piece of paper from a university, whether she is more qualified or not. College needs to stop being a debate, despite the expense, everything learned in college is worth it and will set you up for great success in the future.

  40. Corinne Roonan September 21, 2019 at 3:17 pm #

    Something started to annoy me as I read this article. It is not that the article is wrong, but misguided. Yes, I am a college student and I agree that my purpose in college is both in growing in professional skills as well as in my life skills in order to thrive as an individual in the future. I think what bothers me, though, is the articles failure to mention that college is not essential. College may have been a good option for me, but I believe that I could have thrived without it. In some ways, I would argue that college may even deter life skill growth.
    Most college students that I have met are not growing in their life skills at all. These students are not trying to find a purposeful career; they are just going for a major that they know will make a lot of money. These same students are not looking to become capable citizens through their college education either. So many college students go to college because that is what seems like the next natural step; I am guilty of this as well. There are so many other ways to start adulthood that may even promote growth in professional and life skills in capacities far exceeding those that most college students take advantage of.
    This is not to say that universities do not provide the tools for students to succeed in finding these purposes; universities most definitely provide those tools. The issue is that any other path that is not college is looked on with disdain, so everyone goes to college. People who are not supposed to be in college go to college because that is what they are told will help them succeed, even when they will not thrive in the way that someone who is more college-built would. Students who go to college when they would have perhaps succeeded in a trade career are not going to be dedicated students; they are not going to use the resources provided to them by their university, and thus their growth in professional and personal capacities is deterred.
    Articles like this really serve to alienate those high school students who are trying to decide what is right for them. The idea that college is the only place where students can find their purpose is a self-defeating trope that causes ruination and disrespect of those who choose to do otherwise. The idea that without college, a person cannot succeed in finding their purpose discredits the hard work and dedication others have found in their own purposes outside of college. It also causes students in college to place so much pressure on themselves in an environment where they are already under enough pressure. As a college student myself, I believe I have found my purpose in the world. If I was not in that position and read this article, I would feel very negative about my decision to be here, even if I am meant to be in college.

  41. Juliet Akcay September 22, 2019 at 1:13 pm #

    As a college student, more importantly, as an accounting major, I believe college is essential, especially in this day and age. Accounting firms cannot stress enough how you will not rise in your career if you don’t have 150 credits, or more importantly pass the CPA Exam. Even though I am only a junior, I believe being in college has benefited me in a multitude of ways. I agree with the blog when it mentions that it sets you up for life after college, when you start your career and communicate more with your fellow employees. College has given me the experience to not only gain knowledge through classwork, but also gain knowledge through experiences. I am a firm believer of the saying “college is what you make of it.” As in, if you sit in your dorm room alone and expect to make friends, that won’t happen, but if you go out and get involved and step out of your comfort zone, then you will make more friends, more memories, more experiences and more connections. If you would have asked me what I was going to get involved in before I went to college and after I graduate, I would have had no idea, but now I have a clear vision of exactly what I am going to do in my future due to my involvement both on and off campus and how I am going to get there. That, to me, is one of the main “purposes” of college.
    Some may argue that college isn’t worth it due to the financial aspect, but the job opportunities that getting your bachelors and masters degrees can help you achieve are going to help relieve debt after graduating. It is understandable to wonder what the purpose of college is before making a huge financial decision that will impact your life. I believe college is a time to grow yourself as a person and as a future professional. There is so much to learn and gain from college that other experiences that people deem as a “substitute for college” can not give you. As said earlier, it is all about getting involved and what you make of college. It is enjoyable if you make lifelong friends and share your experiences with those people. Sometimes it isn’t easy to make friends unless you join organizations on campus with people who have similar interests to those of yours. Making friends is also about making connections and helping each other out in various ways. It is known that the people you meet in college are the ones who are going to be your friends for life.
    After reading this article and thinking about my personal experience with college, I really don’t believe there is one purpose to college. Not everyone is going to get the same experience from college, but I definitely think it is important for someone to go to college if it is a feasible option for them because it is a differentiator against those who did not. If an employer posts a job opening and one applies with college experience and another does not, they are more inclined to go with the candidate who went to college and earned a degree.

  42. Britania B September 22, 2019 at 5:16 pm #

    I do agree with the writer that college does prepare students for work and give them important skills. Colleges do prepare students for work because students have the opportunity to go to a career fair and will most likely receive an internship. With an internship, a student will be able to get hands-on into the degree of work that they have chosen. Students get to see firsthand of what they will experience in the field of their choosing. What is good about the experience from internships is that students will still have the option to choose a different field of work if that firsthand experience of their job was not for them. Continuing with that internship, a student will know what places will be best to work at. A student will also know about a good job through their career advisor or friends who have experience different internships.
    There are skills that colleges help students with such as communication skill. I have gained that skill through I class I took which is Public Speaking. It was one of the toughest classes I had to take because speaking in front of people was not something for me. But through that class I’m more confident in speaking in front of the crowd of people, I learned a different technique like pronouncing my words clearly and knowing when to take a pause instead of rushing through my words. What also came to my mind when I read this article about what is the purpose of college is the purpose of high school. If the purpose of college is to prepare a student for work and give them important skills for their future careers. Then what is the purpose of high school should it be able to prepare students for college. As a student what I studied in high school is nowhere close to what I am learning now, but that is my opinion.

  43. Anthony Freda September 22, 2019 at 10:46 pm #

    For my entire life, my parents have always made me and my siblings work hard in school to get into a good college. I never really questioned it and just went with it. As I got older I thought a little bit of what college is and the importance of it. The notion across the United States is that college is a necessary building block to a person’s future. I feel as though that college is a necessary building block but also has been taken advantage of by universities. College is becoming more of a business rather than a stepping stone to a person’s future. Tuition is rising because the universities know that college is becoming a necessary component to enter into the workforce. Yes this is a fantastic way to produce revenue and take advantage of our countries capitalistic ways. However, it is becoming almost unaffordable for some families across the nation and the debt accumulated can take decades. Even with the high accumulated debt, college is important with the development of responsibility and life preparation. For a large portion of students, it’s the first time they are living on their own without the supervision of parents or legal guardians.
    The true purpose of college has been ever changing over the past several decades. When my parents were 20 years old, college was not a necessity to enter the job force. It was not nearly as expensive and the number of students attending was much lower. College was on the uprise and 2 year colleges were very popular. When my grandparents were 20 years old, college was rare. Only people seeking to be professionals such as doctors or lawyers attended a higher level of education. The purpose of college today is to be a stepping stone to prepare young adults for their future lives. A combination of becoming more responsible and preparing students for the workforce is colleges purpose today. I feel as though college is very important for success but should also be cheaper so that a wider range of Americans can attend.

  44. Ryan Geschickter September 23, 2019 at 11:19 am #

    After reading this article, I can say that I took two steps to evaluate what I’m currently doing in my college lifestyle but realize the ultimate goal is to achieve a degree and get a career that is satisfying in my eyes. Companies look for a person with a college degree which makes getting a degree so much more necessary in order to achieve a higher sense of satisfaction and happiness. With college we learn so many lessons not only in the classroom but also in life as well. We also learn how to write at a higher level and achieve grades that the individual has to work for that aren’t simply handed to them. In addition, college also demonstrates and teaches how to work as a team as there are more group-based activities that teach and have mentor abilities. Even though college is a ton of money in today’s world and may even get higher, it is worth every penny due to the all together impact and uplifting mentally that it does for an individual. Making friends and making connections is truly key in the college lifestyle to sustaining good mental health as well as high morale and energy to prevent one from seasonal depression and laziness that is common in many college students to this day. College also teaches one on how to utilize their living space and to care of it, such as keeping it clean and working with their roommate to make it their “home.” However, without a college degree one may struggle to get a job and to find satisfaction with the job that they get. While some individuals without a degree do find jobs that are important to society others don’t find overall fulfillment in their jobs. In my personal life, I’m thankful to have my parents, as my dad worked to save enough money up for me to go to college which is something that is very important to me. Some people don’t have the luxury of being able to afford college which hurts because there needs to be more programs to help boost them to the next degree of higher education.

  45. Kevin Dougherty September 23, 2019 at 1:19 pm #

    As a college student myself this is a topic that I have a lot of interest in, and a topic that comes up a lot in very engaging conversations. College has become so expensive to the point where it is almost wrong not to at least think about whether it is worth it for both new upcoming students and current college students. This article is a great overview of the subject, and just raises the question of whether or not college is worth it. The article mentions that to figure out whether college is worth it for you or not you must first figure out your purpose for going to college. Without knowing why you are going to college it’s hard to determine if going to college is worth it.
    This article talks about graduates who say that an education helped them achieve a purpose in work, and experience in working. “Work is not just about a paycheck, It’s also about a purpose, and helping graduates achieve that purpose may be the point of college” (Forbes.com). Personally as a college senior with work experience in the field I have chosen, I see both sides of the argument but in the end do believe that college is worth it for most individuals.
    To start college is expensive, and for some the idea of spending two hundred thousand dollars for an education is not possible. During my internship this past summer I worked in and experienced the work I would be doing as a public accountant first hand, and few things resembled stuff that I have learned in school. In college I will be taking approximately 40 classes of which 7 of them will be directly related to my major and supposedly “useful for my career”. Even for the major classes most of the material you learn is not important for your career ahead. Most material in college is learned, forgotten, and never retained. This is why I feel college may not be worth it, aside from getting a degree college doesn’t teach as much academically as it’s cracked up to be.
    On the other hand having experienced college myself, I know where the value in a college education really lies and how I have personally grown from having one. To me getting a college education has helped me grow and become an individual who is ready for a career. Part of the college journey has been about finding purpose in work and setting goals that I want to achieve professional over the span of my career, and the other part was just being in a setting to mature. Being in college away from home helped me grow as a person, and shaped me into who I am today in a way that high school could never have.
    Overall I do partially agree with the article and the graduates that they asked questions about. One of the main reasons and benefits of going to college is to gain experience and figure out your purpose in working as opposed to just working to earn a paycheck. I do however also believe that another huge benefit is to mature and gain valuable working and professional experience.

  46. Nicholas A.P. September 23, 2019 at 2:02 pm #

    I generally agree with the author that the idea that college can either prepare you for a job or for success in life is, in fact, a false dichotomy, though I do believe some of the points raised in the article could use some additional clarification. Firstly, I believe a person can get out of college what they put into it. In essence, the purpose of college is idiosyncratic, as it is determined by the individual student. For example, there are individuals who go to college that glean nothing from their four-year stay at their respective school. For some people, going to college is an opportunity to shirk responsibility and participate in a never ending party. When you look at a university, what you see is a large quantity of people with a mean age of twenty who have little to no real world experience. These very same twenty year olds are then charged with the responsibility of going to class and extracting knowledge from the brains of their professors, and thus there is a choice to be made each and every day — the choice to learn. Simply put, some college students do not make this choice. Consequently, they may neither get a good job, nor begin to understand their own life purpose. Reductively put, college students are like horses. They can be lead to water, but alas, they cannot be made to drink.
    In regard to success being based on having had an applied job or internship, I think having an internship or co-op is crucial to determining likes and dislikes, people who fail to do this are missing out on an experience that is potentially trajectory changes. On that note, I also think that it is extremely important to narrow down your interests in the classroom, and then have two to three working experiences related to those interests in order to pick a career path.
    Now I’d like to address some of the bulleted “highlights” from the article. First, I think purpose is found intrinsically, not from a particular job. In my experience, mindset is a better determinant of happiness and overall well-being; it is possible to find the importance or the “point” of doing any work. I do agree, however, that engaging in work that I like does tend to enforce a positive feedback loop, thereby helping to foster a positive mindset. There were two particular quotes from the study that I found to be of great concern. “For graduates with low levels of purpose in their work, only 6% are thriving in their overall well-being.” Conversely, “… graduates who are reflective are 67% more likely to have purposeful work.” (Busteed) What this study actually reveals to me is that teachings in college should be catered more towards teaching students introspection, since that seems to be the most influential factor in being satisfied with life and work. If this is truly the case, something must be done to fix the problem. The most immediate solutions to the problem that I could think of are either requiring students to take certain philosophy courses or enroll in some sort of leadership development program, since both of those experiences would be catalysts for introspective and reflective behavior.
    On another note, I think that the question of whether or not a college education is worth it is equally as important as the question of purpose. As a finance major, I think it could be possible to determine the worth of a college education with some sort of an equation using expected future cashflows from your salaried job, however, it should be first stipulated that an education is only worth its cost if a college degree is a requisite for the post-graduation job being sought out e.g. it is necessary to obtain a JD from a law school if you wish to become a lawyer. Conversely, I think it would be nonsensical to pursue a degree in entrepreneurial studies. An entrepreneurially minded individual would be better off taking out bank loans to start a business rather than to pay for a college education, especially considering that they could get better experience from working at a startup or attempting to start their own business. So, once it’s been determined that a college degree is necessary for the job wanted, a person ought to do some math. According to an article published by Pew Research Center(1), “Bachelor’s degree holders owed a median of $25,000, while those with a postgraduate degree owed a median of $45,000.” (Cilluffo) It is not possible to declare bankruptcy on student loans, so that is something prospective students may want to factor into their decision making process. Debt can be avoided by different methods, like going to a community college for two years. As a final example, it would be illogical for someone who intends to be a public school teacher to pay $60,000 a year to attend a private four-year university. In sum, the questions of colleges’ purpose and worth will remain the two cornerstone questions that one must ask oneself when deciding whether or not to pursue a college degree, unless major changes are made to America’s educational system.

    (1) https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/08/13/facts-about-student-loans/

  47. Dominic Caraballo October 4, 2019 at 6:53 pm #

    This article identifies with those who ask about the reasoning behind going to college, supporting the notion that graduates find purpose through going to college. This is highly beneficial, because often times, people are unhappy with their line of work after school. There are many reasons for this, but one example could be your parents wanting you to study something that doesn’t interest you. This is not how college should be utilized, as you should go there with an open mind and to make your own choices for your future. Finding purpose in a field and being able to work within that field will provide endless rewards down the road. This article does a good job of asking the right questions but not of the steps needed to answer that question of how to find purpose.

    A good first step would be analyzing yourself and promoting self-awareness. The idea is to understand yourself as you are learning about what motivates you. By first knowing about your intrinsic motivation, you will then be able to set clear goals and plan on how to achieve those goals. Another way to find purpose could be helping others by volunteering your time in order to give back to the community. These are just a couple of the many things that people learn at college about themselves. Getting involved and being enrolled in courses that are designed to challenge you, enables you to move forward and continue evolving.

  48. Trinity Holland October 6, 2019 at 12:39 pm #

    I think this article highlights an important question that many of us college students find ourselves asking. What is the purpose of college? I believe that this article is correct in saying that, “College is about both preparing people for a job (and helping them advance their careers and earnings) and to thrive in their overall lives”. I believe that college has a different meaning and purpose for every individual that attends. Some students go to college with the idea in mind that their degree will set them up later in life, some go to college in hopes that it will help their individual pursuit of happiness, and some attend without a reason in mind, perhaps because their parents want them to. Whatever the reason may be, I believe that this article is valuable in explaining why college is beneficial to anyone, even though that reason may vary.

    With the costs of college increasing every year, this question has become more prevalent, with many viewing college as not being worth the amount of money required to go. With my own experience in mind, I believe that college is worth it, but I do also believe that there are smart choices people can make about college. For example, a large university far away from home may sound appealing but if it costs 2-3x more than a smaller school, closer to home, then that should be taken into consideration. I think that a lot of students find themselves questioning whether college is really worth it, which could be because they picked the wrong college. With social media, many people have come to believe that college is all about the location, the parties, the people, etc., which may lead them to making the wrong decision about where to attend. I believe if there wasn’t such a stigma surrounding smaller schools, community colleges, or staying closer to home, this question may not be asked as often as it is.

  49. Arman Ameri October 11, 2019 at 5:21 pm #

    College does not prepare you for a job, if it did then most employers would not look for experience from college students such as internships. College prepares you for a job the same way elementary school prepares you for middle school, and middle school for high school, and high school for college, it doesn’t. With that being said, college most definitely does not prepare you for life, nothing prepares you for life, only experience of life can prepare you for life. People go to college for the same reason as anybody doing anything in this world, and that it is money. Money is as old as time; it is the reason the world turns. A high percentage of jobs require a college degree, that is the jobs that actually pay well. This is not 1950 where one job at the factory can support a wife, kids, dog, and picket fenced house in a nice area, times have changed. Happiness and well-being are great and all, but nobody wants to be poor or have financial problems. College gives you that chance to have a better life, a richer life in which very few achieve without a college education. Competition has grown as the world has grown. Once upon a time you could be happy with a low-income job, but that was when there were a billion people in the world, now there are a billion people in China. College’s purpose is not to prepare you for work or life, it is to make you more money.

  50. nicole shubaderov October 15, 2019 at 5:24 pm #

    The debate of whether or not college is worth it and what its true purpose is will always be up for debate. For some people, they may become millionaires/billionaires and super successful without graduating from college. Under this category, we have people such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Ellen DeGeneres. Each has done something with their life without a master’s or bachelor’s degree and that is something that many people find inspirational, but also conflicting. When average people such as myself see that people are successful without needing a college education, it brings up the conflict to whether or not it truly is worth it to go to college.

    To begin with, College tuition is very expensive. This is the reason why I was not able to go to my dream school or anywhere far from home, because of its expense that my family could not take on. I would have loved to go to a school in Florida, but with the mass expenses in addition to the tuition, board, fees, and books, choosing a local University such as Seton Hall was my best bet to not be financially burdened when I chose a school for my master’s degree. For some people being able to afford the “cheapest” college may be hard. And in today’s society working at a fast-food chain for minimum wage rate would require some sort of college degree. Therefore, many attending college is both a burden but also a way to be able to get a job in the future to support a family.

    On the topic of obtaining a job, college is made out to be that the major you study while you are in college is the major you will prepare your life for. This, for the most part, is a true statement, especially for those studying medicine or the sciences. But for business students, obtaining a college degree for a specific major may not mean that the chosen major is what they pursue for the rest of their lives. Many may obtain a finance major but may become accountants in the future. Others may have a communications degree in business but become a marketing VP for a large business in NYC. Therefore, the justification that college prepares us for our majors is not always a correct statement. But college preparing us for the real world and our futures is a correct statement. In college, not everyone I meet I will be friends with and not everyone I meet will share the same beliefs as myself. But what I need to learn is that I need to respect those who around me no matter our differences because that is what I will have to do all my life. Especially how not everything will go my way and I need to be able to handle hurdles and avoid mistakes that may cost me my future.

    For many, living in a dorm teaches college students independence, something they never experienced while living at home. An example would be with my boyfriend. He lived at home all his life, where he was the only child and had almost everything he needed for constant assistance and support throughout his everyday life. It was only until he went to college, specifically Miami that made it harder for him to rely on his family for support and aid. This is what some people need to be able to learn life skills that will help them own their own houses and live by themselves. The classes we take in college also assist us with the skills necessary to survive the real world. Classes such as accounting, finance, English and everyday life courses that teach us how to properly live without the full support of adults is what is needed for success. The more specified classes would then allow us to focus our learning on our major and specific things that interest us, but the prerequisite classes that all college students take in a University overall try to improve our critical thinking, analysis, and ability to live independently.

    My overall opinion on college is that it is necessary in this society. Yes, there are those people who can easily achieve success without needing to go to college, but for the vast majority, it would greatly benefit them to gain a higher degree of education. For immigrant families, it is important because it is something that our parents may not have been able to have, and it would be nice to obtain a higher education for them. That is why I am studying to be an accountant because I want to be able to be the first person in my family to have a college degree, as well as the first person in my family to be able to have a high paying job. I do believe that college needs to be more affordable because I do not find being in debt to be particularly attractive. But, for myself, the purpose of college is to become passionate about something other than myself, my family and my boyfriend. To find a love for a trade and to try and do great things in life. Even if I am not successful in life, the idea of earning two college degrees is something that I hope to achieve. It is something that was never done in my family and it is something that I want to show the younger children in my family that it is possible and there is no reason to fear hard work. Although I may not necessarily agree that college is 100% worth the cost and the effort being put into it, I know that at this very moment it is the one thing that needs to be defeated and therefore I will put my everything into achieving my goal of graduating college.

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