“I’m not even a recent graduate, I send out on average ten resumes to jobs I’m qualified for a day. I hear back maybe once a month. I’m a 5 year experienced engineer who cannot even get a call back. Nobody gives a shit right now about finding a job that makes them happy, we’re desperate for something to pay our bills. Its really hard to not get insanely angry at this whole scam that was college.”
My response to Eric encouraged him to network more in person rather than sitting behind a computer and emailing his résumé to online job postings. I also invited him to connect with me on LinkedIN for some input on his job search. I have yet to hear from him but, in the meantime, Eric had me thinking.
Is college a scam? Is a college degree really necessary to be successful? Does college pay?
Personally, I am an advocate of higher education. As the job market becomes more and more competitive, a college degree will be necessary to compete for decent-paying entry-level positions. This is not to say it isn’t possible to be successful without a degree.
- Mary Kay Ash
- Richard Branson
- Coco Chanel
- Walt Disney
- Bill Gates
- Peter Jennings
- Steve Jobs
- Rush Limbaugh
- Joel Osteen
- Rachel Ray
- J.K. Rowling
- Russell Simmons
None of these individuals graduated from college. Some didn’t even graduate from high school. However, they all have one thing in common – ambition. Loads of it.
Ambition is something you either have or you don’t. However, it is unique in the fact that you may not have it at first, but you can acquire it over time. In other words, although you cannot buy ambition, you also do not have to be born with it. One day, you may be struck with an idea, and suddenly, you are full of ambition.
A college degree does not guarantee success. Success requires much more than a college degree and a solid résumé. Success requires drive, perseverance, dedication and many other traits that a college degree will not provide.
While I empathize with people in circumstances such as Eric’s, I believe a college degree is absolutely necessary for some people to succeed but certainly not for everyone.
What do you think? Is college a scam? Was your degree worth the expense?
Claudine Meilink is a Career Services Consultant for the Center for Career Opportunities (CCO) at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Among other things, Claudine provides career and major counseling to students and alumni, teaches a Career Leadership Academy for freshmen and sophomore students and serves on the Service Engagement Advisory Board. Claudine would love to connect with you on twitter orLinkedIn.