Higher education is the key to new worlds. In past decades, college education was seen as a privilege which few had access to. Nowadays, it has become a culminating stage in people’s life. Higher education has proved that it has a monetary value, as the salary of a person with a college education is higher than that of a person with a high school education. Some people have sold the idea that a higher education is a waste of time and money, and that such education should only be offered to a limited group of people. However, what make these people believe they have the power to decide what others should do or not do with their lives? In my opinion, everyone should pursue a higher education because it would help to reduce monopolization of wealth and power, it would allow people to exercise their freedom and create more opportunities in their lives.
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Monopolization of wealth and power could be reduced by higher education. As long as the wealthy and powerful people keep the knowledge from those who are hungry of it, the economy will remain the same.
As Linda Lee recalls from Caroline Bird:
“College doesn’t make people intelligent, ambitious, happy, liberal or quick to learn new things. It’s the other way around. Intelligent, …people are attracted to college in the first place” (671). I believe higher education enables people to acquire new skills and develop their intellectual capacities and grow as individuals, and of course this represents a danger for those who prefer to maintain a monopolized power and wealth from others. On the other hand, I do agree at some point with Lee that college education is being wasted on today’s youth. I have seen how here in America people are more interest in the “college experience” than focus on their education. It might also be true that the rate of lack of interest in a college education nowadays is higher than those who attended college fifty years ago. However, I do believe that fifty years ago there were also people who went to college for other reasons than learning; who can assures us that Lee at some point of her years as a college student was not immersed in the “college experience”.
Even when there are cases where people do not have a choice whether go to college or not, for the rest of the people go to college is a decision that resides within themselves. I disagree with Lee that college should not be offer for everyone. She even attacked people with learning disabilities, people who might do their best to be at the same level than the rest of us. It is usually these types of people who achieve more goals than those with not learning disabilities. Coupled with Lee’s perspective, there are also people who see college as something out of their reach. As David Leonhardt said: “….For those families on the fence-often deciding whether a student will be the first to attend-the skepticism becomes one more reason to stop at high school” (646). For many families with low incomes, a higher education for their children can be the key for a better future, an even when most of the college can be expensive, there are many other college that can allow these young people to achieve a scholarship and even a four years degree without spending a penny. Thus, there are also thousands of students who do not have clear which career they should pursue. It is not a surprise that many of them decided to change careers after one of two semesters or even a coupled years. I think that as long as they are doing what they feel passion for, there should be allow changing their minds. After all, we are humans and change and mistakes are part of our nature. A higher education can create more opportunities for people. College allows students gain experiences that will help them in and out of the classroom. In college there are no more teachers trying to help them to get a decent grade, students are expose to the real world were things come to those who seek them instead of waiting for things to come to them.
Gary Gutting said:”
“Students, in turn, need to recognize that their college education is above all a matter of opening themselves up to new dimensions of knowledge and understanding”(628). I believe that higher education not only allows the possibility of a better future, also allows the person to develop personal, intellectual and social skills that can be used in daily life. Among with this, a higher education can enable people to get better jobs and create a better life for themselves and their families. Those who obtained a bachelor’s degree can find better jobs than those who only have a high school degree. Perhaps the economic situation does not change much for them but it can mean a significant change for future generations. Moreover, the opportunities can be better for people with a higher education.
Trying to decide what people want for their future may be uncertain when they do not have idea of what they want. However, a simple way to find the right path is by making mistakes and learning from them. Whether people abandon the medical school to become engineers, as long as they do what is right for them, this decision should not become an obstacle for others. We live in a free country and no one can stop us to be who we are meant to be.