How College Makes Career Goals Possible

Ana-Marcela Lopez / Start Your College Search »

If you are thinking about college, chances are you have some professional goals that require at least a bachelor’s degree. It’s fact, that isn’t changing. As proponents of higher education, we don’t want it to. We believe in the benefits a college education has on an individual’s present and future self.  We do, however, understand that college isn’t as accessible or equitable as it should be, which is why we care so much about highlighting schools with initiatives to close achievement gaps. That being said, getting the diploma isn’t all there is to it. There are other ways in which college helps you realize your career goals. A well-rounded undergraduate experience will help you do the following: 

Develop effective communication skills: 

Effective communication skills are essential to success in the workplace. A traditional undergraduate education typically places a significant emphasis on written and oral communication. As a college graduate, you’ll have developed the necessary research, critical analysis, and writing skills that are necessary in all disciplines. Yes, even STEM majors need to have these skills. 



Benefit from experiential learning: 

Getting your foot in the door at some of the companies you want to work for will be hard without a way in. Colleges are aware of the growing demands of the workforce and are continuing to integrate experiential learning into the curriculum. Research shows that project-based learning helps students bring their new knowledge to their coursework, providing a deeper understanding and appreciation of their discipline. These experiences translate to the ability to address various problems and projects later on in their career. While these skills can be learned without a college degree, the accessibility of these experiential learning give college students a leg up. 

Establish and grow your network: 

The adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who know” applies to many things, but is especially relevant when it comes to your career. Some research suggests that up to 85% of jobs are filled through networking. It’s way easier to meet recruiters when they’re on campus looking for bright students like yourself. Also, your professors are often working in the industry when they aren’t teaching, so they can connect you with internship opportunities that others don’t have access to. Tapping into the alumni network at a college is another great way to find opportunities and stand out among a pool of applicants. Again, this is all certainly possible without a college degree, but the resources and services your college will provide makes the process easier. These valuable “soft skills” are just part of the many benefits of college. A college degree will not only get you your first job, but it will also prepare you for a lifetime of success.

A college degree is often the bare minimum requirement for many industries, which means that a college education continues to be a defining component of society and the economy.  That fact has positive and negative connotations, but it is a fact nonetheless. If you dream of an exciting, successful career, you’ll probably need a college degree. This is not to say that there aren’t plenty of successful people who took a more unconventional approach. College definitely isn’t the only avenue to a successful career, but consider how a degree can help you achieve your goals.


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