Higher education has long held a place in society. It doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, either. With close to four million students receiving degrees at various levels in the U.S. each year, colleges will last a while longer.
Higher education opportunities don’t come easily to many people who desire them, either. So there could be even more people benefiting from educational opportunities. If only they could manage it, given finances and other responsibilities.
Let’s take a look at some of the more prominent benefits of higher education for those fortunate enough to have access to it.
1. Critical Thinking Skills
The definition of critical thinking is a complex one, but it can be distilled a little. It brings credible resources and reasoning skills to bear on information, ideas, and opinions within the culture.
You might also say that critical thinking is the ability to apply what you’ve learned to a problem or situation. Needless to say, employers value critical thinking skills highly.
2. Employment Connections
Among today’s many opportunities in education, most colleges now have formal career counselors and centers. They can introduce students to employers and help arrange job or internship interviews.
Education opportunities also lead to career opportunities in other ways. For example, faculty and other students might have career contacts to share. Plus, there are clubs and service organizations that provide needed job experience.
3. Applicable Skills and Knowledge
It’s one thing to learn by reading books and taking exams but quite another to learn how to apply the knowledge you’ve gained. That’s why many college instructors are integrating community work into courses where it’s a good fit.
Better known as community-based or service learning, these opportunities help students tell prospective employers how their college education relates to the workplace.
4. New Ways of Thinking About Your Existing Knowledge
Opportunities in the education industry itself tend to accrue to those who don’t just “know stuff.” Successful educators must understand how to take what they know and make it relevant and accessible to others.
In today’s fast-paced world, what someone learned 15 years ago as a child might need some updating by the time they reach college. If what engaged you as a child still piques your interest, look for programs that will help you by extending your education.
5. Citizenship Skills and Impulses
Higher education provides the ideal forum for discovering and understanding your citizenship responsibilities. You will learn about cultural backgrounds that differ from yours. You also will be expected to process an astonishing number of differing, often conflicting perspectives.
And when you leave college, you might find yourself volunteering or otherwise giving back to the community.
Is Higher Education Right for You?
We’ve said a lot here about the benefits of higher education. But, when all is said and done, earning a college degree might not be right for you—at least not at present. That’s OK; there are more educational alternatives today than ever before.
Remember, though, not attending college is a tough choice to make. You’ll need to set and adhere to your own goals without guidance from professional educators. And you won’t have ready access to resources like a career center available to help you find the right path.
Meanwhile, if you want to learn about more topics like this one, be sure to check out the latest articles on our site.