Why pursue a University degree?

By Jacky Xu & Kin Ng

The Thought

The idea of attending college or university after high school can be really hard to assess since more advanced coursework, adjusting with a wider fellowship and finding a way to pay for an expensive college education can be intimidating. However, the benefits of attending college today far outweigh the initial stresses.

College or university life provides an insight into the unknown for those who are interested in discovering them.

As quoted by George Boas, the late Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, “Higher education paves the way into learning what we didn’t know that we didn’t know.”

Higher Order of Thinking

Dr. Stuart Firestein, the chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, said: “Science is accessible to everyone because at its core, its all about ignorance and failure, and perhaps an occasional lucky accident”.

Higher education skills help individuals find a lucrative career while teaching them how to deal with a variety of other real-life situations. The ability to solve problems and the ability to communicate with other people are even more important in handling personal relationships. Higher education is more than just a stepping-stone to a career. It’s about learning how to develop a better person.

Better opportunities

Founding Dean of Howard University School of Social Work , Professor Inabel Lindsay said, “One must always be alert to the strengthening and improving facilities to develop human potential”.

As technology advances, higher-paying jobs that were once available to high school graduates now require some form of higher education. Earning a college degree opens up many more avenues than high school diplomas. Whereas factories and manufacturing jobs were once at the center of our job market, the trend is shifting to jobs in other sectors that require more specific skill sets. With so many people competing for jobs in today’s job market, employers are likely to look at candidates with more training and education.

Higher Wages

The recent changes in the professional job market has created a void for individuals with higher skill sets attained by a college education. College graduates routinely earn more than their peers with a diploma.

Late American Celebrity and Motivational Speaker, Earl Nightingale lamented, “Success is not a result of making money – making money is a result of success- and success is directly proportional to the services we provide”.

Personal Growth

Late Dr. Irving Fisher, Professor of Political Economy from Yale University was famously quoted, “Any concept is as interesting and well formed as it can be , but to earn higher than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible”

Bolstering one’s thought about going to college after high school teaches you invaluable lessons outside of the classroom as well. Exposure to new colleagues, cultures and social situations provides you with the opportunity to expand your social circle and experience new things. All of these experiences allow you to grow and evolve as a person as you move from young adulthood into adulthood.

Access to Top Minds

Generally, colleges provide access to top-notch professors and experts who are constantly teaching classes, giving lectures and offering help to students in their chosen field. This type of interaction extends well beyond classroom learning and gives you opportunities that aren’t available to most high school graduates.

“I firmly believe that cultivating dynamic interactions between students is as important as one-on-one contact with faculty, and taking students into a field is a great way to achieve this”, quips Dr. Ann Pearson, Professor of Environmental Sciences; from Harvard University.”

This article was first published over at TR Emeritus on 21 March 2017. It is reproduced with permission.

About The Authors

Jacky Xu is the Co-Founder of Leadership and Management Institute. Jacky had grown up in the Singapore and received an undergraduate degree from Nanyang Technological University and a Master’s degree in the Management from Harvard. He is currently pursing his Doctorate in Eduction with University of Liverpool and is expected to graduate in AY 2018/19.

Kin Ng is the President and Founder of Radiant Owl Consultancy & Services Pte Ltd. He specialises in coaching and helping others communicate and present their way to success. He graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Economics. Besides pursuing his Masters at Harvard University, he spends his time reading, coaching and provoking critical thinking in others.


Studying at Singapore Management University (SMU)

Valuing Degrees

Our education system adequately prepares the young for adult life, but not in a good way.