Is there a way to shape the future? Does studying and education play a crucial role in career building? Is a university degree actually useful in the jobs market? These are only some of the innumerable questions we ask ourselves when looking for an answer to the problems that arise after graduating.
A university education is doubtlessly an important instrument of emancipation in modern life. For example, marketing executive employers prefer MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs and young people who have graduated with a strong performance and good grades. Languages skills are generally a pre-requisite and their certification is also important.
Throughout at least most of the 21st century, a high school diploma was sufficient to get a job. Many companies had their own training programs and employed their workers for many years. Today, because of radical changes in the global jobs market, employers are looking for new hires that come fully trained in the profession. Jobs are changing rapidly, and it’s clear to see that there were jobs ten years ago that no longer exist. Nowadays a person without a degree is deemed in a lot of cases to be unqualified or inappropriate for some positions.
The concept of “previous work experience” has modified the way of seeing jobs, so sometimes students that have just graduated hesitate to send a candidature for the position because of its inaccessibility. The best thing would be to make education free for those who are incapable of paying. This will really help to cut out or reduce the economical differences in society, while those from more disadvantaged backgrounds will have the same access to jobs.
The past 10 years have produced perhaps the most rapid changes ever seen in higher education. The “completion agenda” set forth by the already outgoing President of USA Obama and the Lumina Foundation, has enabled institutions to focus on the graduation of all students regardless of their social class. Concurrently, the introduction of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has generated more attention for the potential for degree completion through an online environment. Such changes have led to a significant amount of competitive recruiting and engaging in efforts to enroll students, the effective consumers of higher education. With these new opportunities come a number of conditions that can facilitate one’s degree completion, beside others negative conditions that might impede it.
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages I see in the current higher education systems
Online courses enable students to enroll in classes at multiple times during the calendar year and to complete the required work for each course in their own time. It is possible to undertake such courses at the same time as work, family and other personal commitments.
- Reduced Cost
The competitiveness for online courses, has created a marketplace where students can participate in almost any course provided by a lots of institutions.
You have many options about how you want to obtain your degree. Colleges and universities have become very flexible with suitable programs, as well as offering online and semi-online classes, weekend classes or traditional classes.
Capitalising on these opportunities may come with some risk. The consumer of any commodity must always recognise the “buyer beware” warning label, and this is unfortunately true with higher education.
College is often too expensive. Most people don’t have enough money to pay for their college education upfront, requiring them to take out loans. Student loans usually have a grace period of 8 months; if you don’t find a job in that amount of time, you may end up having to make high payments, which is difficult without receiving a paycheck.
- Coherence of the Degree Program
When students take advantage of the multiple and varied opportunities for completing courses that enable them to advance their degree, they often succumb to the simple criterion of availability. This principle might be true, but the relationships of the total curriculum could easily be lost in the disconnectedness of taking courses from many different sources.
- Inflated expectations
Students may become so enthralled with their new opportunities for courses they might make assumptions about how their newly-earned credits will apply to their previous degree program or transfer to the institutions they previously attended.
Unfortunately, there are course and degree “providers” engaged in this new opportunity that are not as ethical, as most are. Misleading advertising can be very compelling to the unsuspecting student. Some institutions may mask their lack of specific accreditations in order to attract wishful students. Accreditations can be especially relevant in professional programs. Students who want to seize the opportunity to complete their degree, should be encouraged to do so, but they should also be sure the courses or programs they intend to follow will meet all of their expectations and interests, lest they become a different kind of commodity as a result.
- Degree ≠ work
People who decide to be entrepreneurs in autonomy don’t need a certificate. They just invest their money – that other people would spend on graduation – on going into business.
- Delaying the real world
If you decide not to attend college, you are able to get out into the real world to work, travel or volunteer. They’re just a taste of everything there is to offer out there. There exist programs for high school graduates that have many benefits such as EVS (European voluntary service), scholarships, study abroad and internships.
Education is the central turning point of our generation and nothing has as big an influence and incidence on the community and its social forms. For generarions people have fought and will keep fighting to build cultivated societies following the great African prophet Nelson Mandela that had the audacity to affirm that:
“The Education is the Only Army to Change the World”