How Necessary is a College Education?

Matthew Winchester, Staff Writer

For a long time, the word “college” has been a synonym for success. How necessary is a college degree? From an early age, children are told that they must go to college to get a good job. Ingrained in our societal beliefs is that a college education provides more money which leads to success. Numbers back this claim up and show that people with a bachelor’s degree make more than people with a high school diploma.

According to a study done by Raychelle Cassasa in 2015, the percentage of students enrolling in college in the fall following high school graduation was 69 percent. In 2017, about 20.4 million students were going to attend an American college or university, showing an increase of about 5.1 million since fall 2000. These numbers are all expected to rise over the next decade. These statistics lead people to believe that college is indeed necessary considering the majority of people are attending college after high school.

In my opinion, a college degree is helpful for becoming successful, but it’s not necessary considering there’s plenty of well-paying jobs that do not require a college degree. For example, nuclear power reactor operators make a whopping $93,000 a year! That’s more than most jobs that require a college degree.

However, there are a lot of jobs that do require a college degree, such as being a doctor or teacher.

College is not for everyone, as well. Many people spend thousands of dollars on college and don’t even end up finishing. According to a study done by Tony Isola, 20% of people who enroll in college fail to graduate. 

College is also very costly and leaves a lot of people in debt for years. The average cost of public colleges in the United States is about $9,970 for in-state tuition and $25,620 for out-of-state tuition.

There’s a tremendous amount of millionaires that have achieved success without a college degree. For example, Mark Zuckerburg, the creator of Facebook, has a networth of $74 billion as of December of 2019.

A college degree is critical for certain jobs, but it is not necessary to be successful.