The biggest problem of the mankind is that people create rules by themselves, try to follow these rules strictly, and mostly fail. A few years ago, there was a discussion related to the issues of education. People were arguing whether the college should be for everyone or not. There is no final opinion in this question nowadays, although different points of view were expressed. I believe that education should definitely be for everyone but one’s quality of life must not depend on their decision to enter or not to enter college.
Most people consider education to be their only possibility to achieve a better way of living. Mike Rose, who is an educator and author of the books devoted to the problems of education, states that the connection between higher education (college in particular) and economic progress has been part of the American cultural tradition for generations and has extremely contributed to an increase in college attendance (“My View”). In his article, the author also mentions that those people who have a college degree usually get an ability to earn significantly more over a lifetime than people without such a line in their resume (Rose, “My View”). Still, the contemporary system is not perfect at all because many young people are forced to work part-time jobs to settle their college debt. In the middle of the 20th century, college was a privilege. Fortunately, we have already got rid of this anachronism.
The major benefit of a college education is that it helps people to solve the problem of self-identification. Although there are people that have a clear understanding of what they would like to do with their career and life, in general, most young people are filled with doubts. Entering college in search of a career, these people get an ability to find their place through a course or a job they get at the university. Robert J. Samuelson, who is against universal access, claims that the campaign to make all Americans college students is doing more harm than good because many graduates do not learn much and are not ready for productive lives (“Should everyone go to college?”). The reason for such a failure, however, is rather produced by social prejudices and fallacies. It is a shame that people with a college degree are believed to be more productive and more successful.
The statement that college should be for everyone is supported by the purpose of education itself. Thinking of this issue, the one will soon come to the conclusion that the focus on economics and employment is not the only one possible option. According to Rose, historically, people have expected of colleges the promotion of intellectual, social, ethical and civic development (“My View”). Nowadays, the college degree provides its owner with certain labor market benefits, first of all. Of course, the majors in technical fields, financial services, or healthcare lead to high rates of employment in the relevant spheres. Still, I believe that the whole approach to education should be changed. Considering an economic aspect alone, we need to establish practical alternatives to college, so that other good career options, which do not require a degree, would be open. Then, the college will be for everyone but the final decision will depend on one’s personal interests and preferences only.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize one more time that although a traditional college degree might not be right for everyone, the option itself must exist. As long as college provides the opportunity to get a deeper experience in learning, to develop one’s intellectual abilities, and to make the limits weaker, it must be a universal value. The individual and social benefits, however, should be wider than a college-degree framework.
- Rose, Mike. “My View: Should everyone go to college?” CNN, 9 October 2012, http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/09/my-view-should-everyone-go-to-college/
- Samuelson, Robert J. “Should everyone go to college?” Marketplace, 18 June 2012, https://www.marketplace.org/2012/06/18/economy/commentary/should-everyone-go-college