Have Been Thinking about a College Degree Recently? May Be You Should Look The Way Of Arizona Junior Colleges Or : There Is A Better Option?

December 20, 2017

Since my wife and I have four degree diplomas between us anyone concerned should come to conclusion that I cannot be an anti-college person. And that is true, I am not at all. Still I am used to give some thought to an interesting idea - are the colleges, for instance, such good establishments as reputable Arizona junior colleges, the right thing to choose for career start-up for everyone? What I mean is may be there are other options in life for many juniors that will pay off better than going on campus?

For instance, let us consider my career path. I have graduated with respective degrees in the areas I was interested in. But what about my further employment and diploma validation by an employer? Did I succeed getting any usage of my degrees according to chosen specialization? Yes, I did. I was lucky enough for that, source Shark Rocket. On the other hand on the way to graduation I have amassed a total debt of nearly $100,000 because I had to use student loans. And if you happen to think that was the entire cost of my college blood, sweat and tears you are totally mistaken. It was not. You have to count in expenses for lodgings and food, since I lived on campus, and then on my own, and do not forget I have to spend my funds on books too, so all those charges should be included into my student spendings. I had to struggle all the way to keep on the surface and not to go below it under the constant pressure of accumulating costs. Surely, all the spendings were justified, I kept reminding myself that they are a necessary and reasonable investment of funds into my future career and life success.

May be I was not wise enough choosing a rather expensive college, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, is was a prestigious higher education school, though may be not as reputable as some of Arizona junior colleges at that time. One of the reasons was the incessant stimulation of my ambitions on the part of my Mom. She was a person of older times and principles and a young man without college degree in her understanding did not stand a chance of making any progress in life beyond working at a fast-food restaurant or at a gas station filling gas tanks of passing cars for the rest of his life. Our family was far from being what is called wealthy; rather on the contrary, so in order to complete my four years bachelor's I applied for grants and scholarships for the needy. Those I was lucky enough to be granted, several of them, but I still had to apply for a National Defense Student Loan - the reason, as I mentioned above, was my choice of an expensive school. I was convinced that a better starting career position would justify extra expenses in comparison with more economical colleges, since the more prestigious university would help me to win a job with better position and payment.

The natural question that comes to any mind is - and what did you get as a result? Did it work out or not? Did the spending on a more prestigious university pay off in the long run? Well, judge for yourself. The first job I managed to get was with a small New Jersey advertising agency. I was hired as an artist intern and in the summer of my junior year my responsibility was to give an assisting hand to the art director. To tell you the truth the name of "Pratt" did not make any impression on the management there. For all they were concerned with I could have gotten my degree from a mail order 'learn-to-draw' school with the same result. My portfolio that I presented did the trick and they hired me. My next job was a position of the art director with Fedders. After that I managed to go independent and ran my own ad agency in Phoenix, Arizona - that is where I had a chance to learn about standards of Arizona junior colleges. In the end I ended in position of a Yellow Page consultant at the Bell System. So, as you can see, the college gave me a good professional training, anyway, but hand-on experience played much more important role in my career. And I still am at a loss to answer a question: were the college years actually worth all of that? If I had to do it again, would I?

Let us try to look at it from another point.

When I was out of my high school, I already had a good portfolio. The people at the advertising agency in New Jersey might have turned me down, but might have not, I still would have had my chance, that is the point. Fedders would not have given me a chance, but with that small agency I would have been in position to get enough professional experience and expertise to look for a better position elsewhere. And if I had wanted to open my own agency I would have had a nice support of $50,000 more: the loan amount I borrowed from the government! So, was graduation with a bachelor's diploma really worth it?

Remember the stories of life success of such people as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, the founders of Microsoft and Apple Computers respectively. Both of them never finished their colleges, Gates left Harvard in his junior year Jobs left Reed College after one semester. They started out from a scratch in their garages. The hundreds of billionaires and multi-millionaires never even considered going to a college. All that brings us to a question: does an average guy or girl freshly out of high school have any real chance to be a success in some kind of business without any college experience? Without getting that college degree?

Let us consider their possibilities in order.

Just consider a young person, a boy or a girl, who does not yet have any idea which way to go and which career path to pursue. Such a person can go, in this case, either of three directions:

1. Go to college and graduate with degree in business.

2. Make a try at a career in some technical area, like computer programming, electrical repair, or auto mechanics, so for this the person has to enroll to one of vocational schools offering pertinent training.

3. Apply for a job with a large company, hoping to make a career all the way up from the very bottom.

In case of making choice No. 3 a young person does have an actual chance of getting all the way up gaining real hand-on experience. And it makes me think that importance of getting a college degree is in many cases exaggerated. Not that I hated my college, on the contrary, I liked studying very much. But for instance, my wife combined working full-time with going to college from home, saving on accommodations and food. And I can say she is no less fulfilled than me. So, I continue to have my doubts about so called "college experience" and what it is really worth.

And that drives me to the final consideration.

Imagine the following situation: a young person, a boy or a girl still is not able to make up his or her mind about what to do with his or her life and has no particular skills or direction. But the family has saved some hefty money for the college. May be a good alternative to a college would be investing the saved money into taking the junior person into a family business. Not a bad use of the accumulated college fund. This kind of financing will still be an investment into the junior's future, won't it? So I just wonder why people in general never consider such a possibility and keep focusing on college graduation? Why can't they be more open-minded and realistic? Just compare carefully all advantages and disadvantages of college expenses versus early start-up in gaining actual professional experience early childhood education certificate. In any case, the junior can get the college degree later on, if it will be needed for further career progress. He or she might become another legend of a business superstar from an empty garage! It's still an investment in to the future, right? The decision might be tough, but still worth careful consideration. So, choose wisely!

Posted by Roger Windsor