Pursuing a post-secondary education after completing high school has become the accepted norm, however, the reality is that the changing world and technological advances are making it redundant. The importance of education is undeniable, however, there are multiple other options to consider.
The four years spent pursuing a bachelor’s degree could be invested in gaining real-world experience, building up a CV, seeking out mentors, and traveling the world. After graduation, many students quickly forget all the hours of study, cramming for exams, and endless essays. While the benefit of studying a degree after high school is necessary for those entering specialized fields, for millions of young workers across the globe the expectation of obtaining a degree is becoming antiquated.
The importance of encouraging the education of the masses is not up for debate; the more educated the workforce is, the lower the unemployment and poverty rate, and the higher the quality of worker benefits. The increasing imbalance of supply and demand, (more graduates seeking work than jobs that require degrees), has resulted in workers taking jobs below their skillset and spurred on the perpetual cheapening of labor. Jobs for those without higher education have plateaued as a result and it is a struggle to find work that pays liveable wages. If fewer people pursued higher education simply because it is what is expected of them, perhaps we would see more balance within the workforce.
There are several careers that consistently require the pursuit of higher education; however, many jobs can now be learned via in-office training and mentorship. By skipping the lecture hall and entering the workforce you will be able to glean insight as to what interests you and increase your practical skillset rather than learning strictly theoretical approaches. The old career model has been tossed out and it is common for people to change career paths several times over the course of their life. Obtaining a degree in a field you may outgrow in several years may later feel like wasted time.
In some countries the university fees have increased disproportionately in the last few decades; particularly in the United States where the cost has increased by nearly 500% since 1985. (Source: Forbes). When faced with potential mountains of debt, it makes sense to start working and earning money; then, if a degree seems like a logical next step, the time and money invested will be appreciated and respected, rather than going to university after high school simply because it’s what you’re expected to do.
Should you forego post-secondary education and enter the workforce immediately after graduation you will be able to secure entry-level positions. Many companies are happy to train you according to their standards and you will be able to accrue years of “real-world” experience and learn applicable and transferable skills. The choice of pursuing high education is deeply personal, however, you will certainly benefit by allowing yourself time to mature and identify where your interests lie.