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Five reasons to go to college (besides career advancement)

Readers say there’s more to a college degree than preparing for a job

"In our discussions about education, so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life," said one reader.

Conventional wisdom says that, unless you’re an entrepreneurial genius, you need a college degree to land a well-paying job; yet, thanks to the slumping economy, even that’s not a guarantee.

An anti-college backlash recently has emerged from the confluence of soaring tuition rates, political forces, and a desire for more accountability in higher education—not to mention a tough economy that has many students rethinking the value of a college education.

But for those critics who say the debilitating effects of college loans just aren’t worth what you get in return, the issue begs the question: “Is a postsecondary education really just about finding a good job after graduation?”

We recently put this question to our readers, and an overwhelming number said “no”—a postsecondary education is an experience that provides a return on investment that includes much more than a paycheck.

Here are the top five reasons why college is about more than preparing for a good career, according to our readers. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

1. It teaches discipline.

Postsecondary education “teaches many other skills than those needed to find a job related to your major. [It] is where many people learn to independently discipline themselves; this skill can be applied to many other aspects of life than a career.” —Kara J. Lee, lead instructional technology facilitator, district webmaster, Duplin County Schools

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Comment:

  1. kjones19

    October 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    A college grad needs some financial return on investment, at least if there’s debt to pay off. And the people I met in college propelled that return faster than any degree. College means access, so I encourage every student to milk the programs, networks, etc. for all their worth.