How Should People Choose Whether They’re Going to College?

How Should People Choose Whether They’re Going to College?

Jiaqi Liu

English 1A

Ms Robledo


How Should People Choose Whether They’re Going to College?

“Knowledge is power” is often a famous quote that most parents in the world alway tell their children. In other words, getting educated is the only way that people can achieve a successful life in the future. Furthermore,that means when a kid graduate from elementary school, they should attend middle school high school and the most important one, college. Numerous people say that the reality of society is cruel, and the way not to get eliminated is to continuously upgrade themselves because of survival of the fittest. To illustrate that is when other people are getting an Associate degree from college, they should be instead be getting a Bachelor’s degree. In addition, nowadays many people who go to college do it because there are a lot of jobs that require a college level degree. Besides those, have any of the children themselves considered why they have to go to college? Is this the only path that can guide them to success in their life? Otherwise, is the decision they choose suited for them? Is there any guarantee that people will get jobs after college. There are a lot of unknowns. In the essay “Should Everyone Go to College?” Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill argue that going to college is like an investment, full of risk, and even if you choose the major or college, you are investing. People should think about whether it is worth it and does it have a great return, not just putting money into it and expecting that the return is guaranteed. The reason is that there is a study that shows us that education is one of the biggest investments people can make. In my perspective, I agree on both of the authors, they are right that people should think carefully for themselves whether college is worth the hefty price tag and at the same time everyone is unique, anybody could be an expert in their profession through their efforts.

Firstly, the essay “Blue collar Brilliance” by Mike Rose, he observes that “A waitress acquires knowledge and intuition about the ways and the rhythms of the restaurant business” (274) In fact, he is arguing that waitressing is not a job that requires a college degree, but working as a waitress requires a lot of skills, for example his mother was a waitress and she built her memory strategies by experiences like serving seven to nine tables each with more than two customers and knowing how long each dish will take to get prepared. Similarly to the above, Charles Murray, a student who got a really amazing SAT score and went to Harvard and graduated there said that, “Whether the traditional four-year residential college is fun or valuable as a place to grow up, but when it makes sense as a place to learn how to make a living. The answer is L in a sensible world, hardly ever.” In his essay “Are Too Many People Going to College?”, in particular he is making people believe people go to college because they want to make a living when they graduate, but then the majority of college students who graduate from their major can not get jobs in that field. So why should they waste time on college, paying lots of tuition and why not to go and seek a job that fits them earlier? On top of that, Charles and Peter Thiel argue in the debate “Too Many Kids Go to College” on the con side, supporting that there are too many kids going to college. They say that 91% of the people are wasting their time on college and a lot of people are doing better than the people who went to college as well. That means a Bachelor

degree does not mean anything anymore, because nowadays it is too easy to achieve that degree a lot people who have it still does not know anything, so they were just wasting time. It is better to know what school they graduated from than just seeing the Bachelor degree.

Second, according to Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill, they point out in their essay “Should Everyone Be Going to College” that 25 -34 year old high school graduates could earn $30,000 for a year in 2010 while a person who went to one years of college could earn $3000 more and people who went to four years of college could earn $12,000 more. In other words, people who went to college will make more money than the ones who did not. This is one kind of rate of return. They also mention that what people learn from college, the knowledge is with them forever. It is not like one will lose it. On top of that, Vivek Wadhwa and Henry Bienen were arguing on the opposite side in the debate “ Too Many Kid Going to College”. They mention that 43% of the unemployed were people who did not attend college. We all know Steve Jobs, the guy who invented Apple, is very amazing and he did not go to college but is making lots of money. They said seriously that not everyone can do it like him. Indeed, college makes a huge difference, it provides people more chance for finding jobs or creating their own. Some people think community college is bad, but Vieck believes community college is also a good form of college that has hardworking students, and sometimes people in community college write even better than others in the UC system. A real example that convinced me about that was my friend Sarah. She was a top student when she was in high school, she worked so hard and always thought about taking Biology as a major at UCLA, she got a good score (around 1900s) on the old SAT, but the reality hit her later that she could not afford the expensive tuition, she was thinking over and over, in the end, she decided to go to community college and then transfer. People felt upset about her, but she didn’t give up at all, she worked way harder than before just to prove that if she wanted to study, she can study in anywhere, so now she ended up with a high paying, and stable job in some sort of lab. Some jobs really need people to have specific skills that they learn from the college, so going to college might be the best choice for those who want to have better jobs.

Given above the points, I agree with Stephanie Owen, Isabel Sawhill,Vivek Wadhwa and Henry Bienen that it is worth it to spend money on college. I also think college is not just a place that educates us, it is a place that records our amazing youth, a place that lets us make memories before we grow up and a place that fulfil our dreams. Even though college costs a lot, the evidence shows that the rate of return is high. The statistics show that the number of people who do not attend college, have higher unemployment rate, than the people who attend college. Working as an engineer gets more pay than a person who wash dishes in a restaurant, in that case people need to learn some professional skills, and knowledge about the job. Despite if you are amazing in this kind of jobs you still need some guides. Building a house for people to live in is very serious. In many ways you can not miss any details, otherwise the house might break down and kill people because it is not firm and solid enough. I understand why people are arguing on the other side that there are too many people going to college, but I disagree with them. What you learn is yours forever. Although many people who attend college could not find jobs, they still have better chances than the people who did not attend college.

To summarize, going to college is one kind of investment for life. People have to abandon some free time during school time and have to pay big money as well as it might bring them into debt if their family can not afford you. However, the investment will be worth it when they graduate from school and are able to work any position, or jobs. Everything starts from the bottom, if you are willing to work hard, you will work yourself up and earn big moneys. I see many of the college graduates are very picky about jobs. A lot of them think they have the degree they should not start from the bottom and want to jump to the top and find that they could not find jobs. Over all, going to college is a risk but if you are willing to work hard then at the end it will worth the money and the time you spend on it. Oh and of course the most important, you have to know your interests and study what you are interested on


Works cited

Bienen, Henry, Peter Thiel, Charles Murray, Vivek Wadhwa. Interview. Do Too Many Kids Go To College? NPR. WNYC, New York, 18, Oct. 2011. Radio.

Owen, Stephanie. Sawhill, Isabel. “Should Everyone Go To College?”. They say I say 3rd Edition: 208-223 Print.

Murray, Charles. “Are Too Many People Going To College?” They Say I Say with readings. 3rd ed. Gerald Graff,et. Al. New York: Norton, 2015. 234-254. Print.

Rose, Mike. “Blue-Collar Brilliance?”. They Say I Say with readings. 3rd ed. Gerald Graff,et. Al. New York: Norton, 2015. 272-284 Print.

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