Do you need a college degree to become successful in business?
1. College isn't necessary, but it can teach useful skills
"College isn't necessary for a successful future in terms of credentials and training. However, the real benefit comes from making industry connections and having a prestigious institution on your resume. College won't necessarily make you a more competent professional—that's almost entirely up to you.
2. The internet has brought education to the masse
"I'm a college dropout and have become successful in programming. With the rise of the internet, college is no longer the only place to learn valuable life skills. You can follow courses from prestigious universities in places like Coursera. Not only are these courses free, but they're probably better than what you'd be getting at your local college.
3. A successful future requires education, not college
"As an educator and community builder, I teach at several universities, where I add my experience and stories to the curriculum, hoping to encourage, inspire, and motivate my students. I've noticed that as students reach higher, discover related disciplines, and learn, they define and achieve short and long-term dreams of success. These successes build on one another, creating fulfilling futures.
4. College may not be necessary if you have high potential
"While many folks will agree you should go to college for a better future, college is not necessary to succeed. We have many successful folks in our society who have dropped out or did not bother attending college. An example is Paul Allen, a college dropout who later became a billion-dollar NFL owner. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs also dropped out of college and ended up becoming successful business and media moguls.
5. Securing a trade is a fine choice
"I work with teams and leaders, so I often hear from employees that a high school counselor steered them away from seeking a career in the trades. They were people smart and got good grades, so counselors assumed they were college material. And now they want to earn licenses in the trades with union protections and perhaps lead their own construction, plumbing, electric car, and wind generator repair companies as general contractors. Desk jobs ultimately bored them and were not life-affirming. These trades come with licenses and certifications that often serve people better than a four-year college generalist degree—and at perhaps a tenth of the cost or more."
6. College improves your earning potential and networking
"I firmly believe that college is essential for a prosperous future. According to the APLU (Association of Public & Land Grant Universities), a college education improves a person's job prospects and earning potential. Bachelor's degree holders are half as likely as to be unemployed as high school diploma holders, and they earn $1.2 million more over their lifetime.
7. Employers view college as a wise investment
"The chance to impact your community and boost professional stability and satisfaction are just two of the many benefits of attending college. It's also normal to find 'bachelor's degree required' or mentioned as a recommended qualification on job descriptions. According to the Association of American Colleges, employers value a college degree; 87% of employers polled said college was "definitely" or "probably" worth the investment of time and money.
8. Only certain career paths require a degree today
"It's no secret there has been a significant shift in how higher education is viewed. When evaluating the ROI for college, prospective students must believe they will end up with a bigger salary or increased professional opportunities if they commit to attending and earning a degree.
9. College makes you competitive
"Yes, college is important in a very competitive job market. A college degree significantly improves a candidate's chances of getting a job. Having a degree can mean the difference between a good paying and a bad paying job. And many employers now require a master’s degree for associate degree-level jobs. Having a college degree will give you an advantage in the job market over a candidate who does not have a degree."
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