Student Studying

Opinion writer Kahindo Musungira argues that the connections you have are more valuable than a college education.

When I was first accepted into college, I was very happy. But then I looked at how much I would have to pay for college. My parents, who are teachers, said it would be an investment in myself. However, now that I am a senior and looking for jobs, I wonder if a college education has prepared me for the real world.

As a senior, I have realized I'm not really ready for the real world. I am studying telecommunication and want to go into broadcasting. However, there are not many TV stations for me to get a job after I graduate. Although I go to a good school, there is a big chance I will not get a job that uses my degree, which makes me wonder if it is worth it to go to college considering how expensive it is.

These days getting a job is all about the people that you know. What about if you are someone who just moved to the country? That means even if you are smart and hard-working, it will still be hard to get a job. If it is all about the network, what can people who have no connections do? Research from LinkedIn shows that in 2016, companies hired a whopping 70 percent of people who already had a connection in place. That puts people like me, who moved to the U.S., at a significant disadvantage when it comes to job-hunting.

Since a college degree does not matter as much as the connections people have, I see no reason why people would need to go to college and accumulate loans they will not be able to pay off. With the expense of college and no guarantee of getting a job, it is better not to go and save ourselves from taking loans and having to pay them for the rest of our lives. It will be better to go to technical schools instead because at least they are always in high demand.

Two-thirds of college students graduate with loans, so students who go to college to improve their standard of living after they graduate do not have a chance because they will have so many loans to pay. Since my family came to the U.S. as refugees, my parents believed going to college was the only way to improve our lives. However, with the way the system works where students have to take out loans to pay for college, I do not think that our lives will change. It is as if the system wants to stay at the same level where we started, and that is why school is so expensive. Even if all my brothers graduate, because of the way the system works with all the interest on the loans, they will have to keep paying those loans for the rest of their lives. So again I wonder, is college really worth it?

If you have a chance to go to college, then you should go. College is fun, and I love being a college student. And if you are lucky, you can make connections while there. But for me, it is not worth it in terms of getting a job after I graduate. However, even if I feel like I am not ready in the aspects of getting a job that fits with my degree, I have gained other things as a person. I have learned a lot about myself, and I can’t tell if I could have learned those things had I not gone to college. So when deciding whether to go to college, think carefully if it will be worth taking out all those student loans.

(1) comment

Martinf

Pursuing a major In a discipline where there is no hope of paying off a loan quickly because of a low starting salary is folly. A prospective student should have the wherewithal to investigate these scenarios before accepting that college offer. Soft subjects in non-STEM majors are merely income generators for the school; it’s the students’ problem to repay those loans.

Your original premise that college does not prepare a student for the real world is valid. University teaches one how to think, but unfortunately puts rise-colored glasses on the students to keep their tuition coming in.

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