Purpose of College Education

Many people around the world consider college as a rite of passage that raises concerns about the uniqueness and aims of further education. There has been a rise in the cost of attending college, as well as an influx of graduates who are unemployed. The graduates are put in jobs that do not require them to have a college diploma. Furthermore, there is a growing disparity between current employer expectations and the outcomes of a college education (Selingo). Is making students job-ready the sole justification for a college education the question that the system should answer?
Most people knew that college was perceived to be a system where the adolescent adults went to explore majors and courses before deciding on a specific career and job after their graduation. Dan Berrett in his higher education chronicle elaborates the history of how there was a shift of the purpose of college education from idyllic visions to job searching (Selingo). Dan shows the origin back to 1967 when the then governor of California, Ronal Reagan issued a report that taxpayers should avoid the promotion of intellectual curiosity.

Since the time, the attitude of students has changed with the main focus during the choice of a major being the opportunity to get a job. In a survey conducted by the UCLA, freshmen students list the obtaining of a lucrative job as the main reason for going to college (Selingo). Initially, students went to college with an interest in learning about the various things and aspects revolving around life.

There is a rapid decrease in the number of degrees that are awarded in the traditional sciences and arts including math, biology, and English since 1968 to present (Selingo). Most of the currently issued credentials are of vocational and occupational fields including communication, education, games design and management of sports. In addition, business is the most sort after major by undergraduate students.

Families and their children are facing huge tuition bills and hence require undertaking a major that easily leads to a job opportunity after they graduate. College loans and the high tuition fee are hard to come by hence they prefer to study an undergraduate major that lands them a job (Selingo). The resulting effect is colleges striving to accommodate the needs of the students with the initiation of a field like a social media bachelor’s degree.

Liberals initially viewed college as an institution where individuals attend to develop a fundamental foundation of knowledge for benefits throughout their lifetime. College is referred to as an institution of higher education since it should elevate students to a higher understanding and inquiring levels than high school (Petrache). College provides for exercises of the brain in both imaginary and real situations. It provides a forum for debate and a basis for individuals to challenge pre-existing ideas and doctrines within a society. It is made possible by teachers transferring responsibilities to their students. In advancing to college from high school students are expected to advance their intellectual abilities.


I believe that college education is broader than the basics of seeking skills in specific majors to be incorporated in jobs. College offers a variety of intellectual practices, and knowledge in other aspects of life to develop responsible citizens. College education has been an issue due to the drastic shift in the main purpose. Students should be able to distinguish their purpose in life and the roles they need to play in order to determine the reasons why they are getting into college education. Obtaining jobs is not the sole reason for getting into college.

Work Cited

Petrache, Horia. “Does College Education Serve Any Purpose?” (2014): n. pag. Web. 21 Sept. 2017.

Selingo, Jeffrey. “What’s The Purpose Of College: A Job Or An Education?” Washington Post. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 Sept. 2017.

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