Why Education is More Than Just a Diploma: Uncovering the Hidden Benefits of Schooling
School is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and a learning environment to teach students. Everyone knows what it is and many people have issues with the current educational system. Newer generations were taught that getting a college degree would be the only way to guarantee a good future and to make money. That ideology doesn’t work for many people who find themselves with a piece of paper but no job. It’s difficult to be struggling with finding a job while simultaneously drowning in school debt.
Many people are so focused on the end result of school, the diploma, that they miss out on understanding the true benefits of education. There truly are some benefits to education and the diploma is only a small piece of it.
There are many occupations that require very specialized training and having higher level schooling is absolutely necessary. Doctors, lawyers, and engineers fit this bill but there are plenty more. Consider if you’d like to have the doctor who is performing your surgery not have the experience of a surgical residency. Or if you would like your lawyer to represent you without any legal knowledge.
Higher education is a great piece of the puzzle to have if you want to advance in your career but it is important to understand that education is not the sole savior for advancement. Internal promotions within an organization are great tools and to be eligible to move up many times education or an equivalent experience are the prerequisites. When applying for outside roles as well it is necessary to have a certain level of experience within a field and use the advanced degree to boost your already existing knowledge.
Associate and Bachelor's degrees are used to help individuals learn how to do a specific field’s role while Master's degrees look at the strategic level of the field and Doctorates incorporate new ideas to bring change to the field itself. Every level has its own expectations but many people only focus on the paper at the end of the road. The company’s hiring managers understand these nuances and use them during their hiring decisions.
It may seem extremely bizarre that the point of continuing your education is to learn, but it is something that too many people do not think about. An acquaintance of mine went through four years of schooling and is close to graduating with a Bachelor's in Information Technology. When I asked them about his future plans he had absolutely no idea and was terrified of the fact that once he had a position, he would not be prepared and felt like he truly didn't know what he was doing. When I asked him what he learned from his 4 years at a prestigious university in his field of study, he said, “Not enough.”
If there is one thing that the internet, social media, and other forms of online learning, can teach, is that most skills and knowledge are transferable. People can learn to code a program, budget their finances, and practically anything else on their own time. The biggest difference between people learning those skills on their own as compared to my acquaintance, is that they are motivated to learn the material for their own needs instead of having a diploma be the ultimate goal. The outcome of these two learning methods is that the ones who wanted to learn got a lot out of their training and he got a sheet of paper at the end with no skills.
If you are interested in learning about a particular topic, there are many free resources to guide you. If at a later point, you want to further your skills in that topic, then formally pursue it. College and University are for learning; a degree should not be the sole goal.
There are a plethora of hard and soft skills that school teaches you. Hard skills are job-related abilities necessary to accomplish the work and soft skills are the personal traits that impact the work. Both are necessary for succeeding in life and both are partially taught in school. The hard skills learned are the classwork the teachers provide you. The major, minor, or focus of your study is where the hard skills you need to succeed in the specific field are learned.
The soft skills are much more interesting as they aren’t thought about like the hard skills are. You go to college for hard skills. Skills that will help you succeed in your position but the soft skills are more important and beneficial than the hard ones as they prepare you to succeed in life with skills that can always be used and help.
Completing assignments and coursework on time gives you experience in meeting deadlines.
Working in teams to accomplish assignments and tasks develops team-building and team-management skills.
The dedication to completing work that needs to be done even when you don’t want to do it builds mental strength and commitment.
Researching various topics in and outside your field helps you find, compile, analyze, and discuss new information.
Reading textbooks and articles improves reading comprehension, writing assignments improves written communication, and finally presenting boosts verbal communication and interpersonal competence.
All Schools, no matter the level, provide numerous skills and benefits for a more productive future. Consider whether pursuing a formal education is the best path for you; there are many paths to the top; find which is best for you. Do not get yourself into tons of debt for just a piece of paper unless it’s truly what you want. There are true benefits to school; it all depends on the person and the reason.