When I attended the Career Fair last week, my hope in finding an enjoyable career was restored. Before I went to the fair, I thought my only job opportunities immediately after graduation were to take a job waiting tables and then search for my career. It didn’t seem possible to me to actually find something I would enjoy right away. Therefore, it was an eye-opener when I learned of all the enjoyable things I could do with my college degree. Regardless of the positions I founded at the fair, I learned a valuable lesson about why I am in college and how far I have come in my career journey.
For anyone who has attended the fair knows there are many entry-level management-training programs out there. These programs will take any college graduate and train them to be managers, well, with the right skills and cover letter. When the program is complete, you have the opportunity to move up the white-collar ladder and make lots of money.
I had never heard of these programs and found them to be quite common in the competitive corporate world. Some programs were two years, others were more, but the benefits were still the same. Become a manager and make lots of money. When I thought of this concept more, I realized this is why many people come to college.
It seems like a basic concept, but is really quite profound to think about. College graduates become an elite group of people in the world. Our education has allotted us an endless possibility of career choices. We can become doctors, lawyers, factory owners, and to some end, corporate executives. The possibilities are endless. We have a power that many take for granted, a privilege to choose a career path for ourselves, and not let society or the economy do it for us.
These management programs and job options are not open to all working people, though. Only those who have received a college degree can have these jobs. Those who do not have the magic degree covet these jobs and take the limited positions that are available to them. The college degree allows us to have the “one-up” in the job market and to become managers early on in our career.
Things are a lot different where I come from. I am from a working class, blue-collar community that does not look fondly upon their white-collar bosses. I have younger family members, who have graduated high school, that base job decisions on whether or not a prospective employer requires a drug test. College graduates do not have to worry about these things. Rather, we are bosses and do not have to worry about things like drug tests.
Now I am not criticizing anyone’s life choices, nor trying to over generalize, rather comparing what my life would be like without college. I would have to start at the bottom and work my way to a better position, but may never find true career satisfaction.
Not everyone has the college opportunity, but those who do, think about what your life would be like without it. Would you still be able to find happiness? Is making a lot of money the reason you are in college? Or does a college education further your own pursuit of genuine happiness?
Whatever the case may be, I hope you all find your reason and never forget what your life would be like without your college degree.
Ben is a senior is Speech Communication. All he wants to do after graduation is DANCE, DANCE, DANCE!