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Is a college degree necessary for success?

Many college students lose motivation as the semester goes on and often ask themselves if obtaining a degree is actually necessary. Students find college expenses such as tuition, books and parking tickets annoying, and worry their hard work may not pay off. College can be mentally, emotionally and physically draining and cause a student to ask, “Is this really worth it” or say, “I should just drop out and become a (insert get-rich-quick scheme or dead-end job).”

It is true some people have college degrees and are unable to find employment, while some people who did not go to college are successful and able to support their family. This is why we go to college and work hard, right? To be successful? Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and was the richest man in the world in the ‘90s. So we know it is possible to be successful without a college degree, but it is safe to say that we can not all be as fortunate as Bill Gates.

So let us talk about the varying definitions of success. Some popular definitions are to be wealthy, cultured, well-traveled and respected or famous. Most of these accomplishments can be achieved by just obtaining a college degree or are made easier by having one. If you generally compare yourself with a degree to someone without a degree, you will make more money, be more qualified, have more connections and be more likely to bring new ideas to the table, according to nces.ed.gov.

Both college courses and the college experience in general give students the opportunity to learn about other cultures, open their minds and learn new, in-demand languages. Students are encouraged every semester to study abroad in several different countries. Besides boosting your resume past job candidates without degrees, college sets you up for success with these life-enriching opportunities.

College is an investment in the enrichment of your life. College is not just about the piece of paper you receive when you graduate, but the opportunities you take and the connections you make on your way to the finish line. A college degree is not a guarantee that you will be successful and all your dreams will come true while you sit back and relax. Education is a tool that can be used to achieve success while continuing to work hard and use what you learned in real situations. Whether a college degree is necessary or not depends on what you want in life. Would you rather increase your chances to be successful and enrich your life along the way, or always wonder “what if?”

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