23 answers

Do you feel that college is necessary to have an successful career?

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23 answers

Kim’s Answer

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Hi Destney

Ken has given you some excellent advice and guidance. One additional thought to consider is to augment your understanding of your personality traits with some insight into your true strengths. My favorite assessment is StrengthsFinder. The resulting report will provide insights into your true strengths and how they are aligned to educational and career options. This information along with the information on your personality traits will provide a well-rounded guide to your decision-making process. Your educational and career path tends to be fluid so keep your mind open to opportunities that you may not have originally considered along the way. Best of luck.

Kim recommends the following next steps:

  • Research the StrengthsFinder assessment to determine application to your need.
  • Take the StrengthsFinder assessment and review the resulting report for insight into your potential educational and career options.
  • Retain the report for reference as you continue on your path to help keep you centered.
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Ken’s Answer

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No. The important thing for you to do is to get to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to various career areas - many of which do not require college and provide for a very good lifestyle. Here are some good sites to visit followed by some tips from my many years in Human Relations.


Should You Go To College

https://medium.com/the-mission/high-school-is-over-should-you-go-to-college-b5b6db6f6712

My Biggest Regret: Going to College

https://medium.com/the-mission/my-biggest-regret-in-life-going-to-college-ef2068f179cf

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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John’s Answer

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Hi Destney

College Can Be a Life-Changing Experience

By broadening your perspective and learning about a variety of subjects, you can discover a career path that interests and suits you, rather than building experience in an industry that may not interest you down the road. What’s more is that having a degree will allow for more career flexibility if you’re not exactly sure what you’d like to pursue right away. Plus, college provides the chance to meet knowledgeable professors and students and develop skills you’ll take with you throughout life. You may even get to study abroad, meet industry leaders or score a great internship with your dream company.

Good Luck
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Djaja’s Answer

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Yes for me.

My college degree help me landed my first job at a bigger company (Sprint PCS). One that job, I was competing with other candidates that also had a college degree. I do not think they will offer me a job if I did not have a college degree.

After my bachelor degree, I did my Master degree without experiencing a working life first.

My advice is not to do your Master degree immediately. After you finish your Bachelor degree, go to work first. See if you like the field you study. You can always go back to school later if needed.

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Rama’s Answer

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I am happy to add a few things on top of some great answers from everyone. College degree used to be requirement for many companies. Lately companies are dropping that requirement and focusing on aspects like curiosity, interests, aptitude and passion one can bring to a specific job or a role. College degree is never a waste and if you want to learn the fundamentals of subjects, it is great to learn in a classroom setting and solve some solutions. Later on working realtime the knowledge is always useful in applying our analytical, critical and problem solving thinking. For me, I am in a job that I did not learn anything about in college but looking closely, there were many aspects of certain subjects like People management, employee relations and marketing management that helped me advance in my career. So it was very useful.
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Katie’s Answer

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College is necessary for certain careers--engineer, lawyer, doctor, teacher, etc. College is NOT necessary for all careers.


There are many career fields that require certification that can be gotten through other types of education. If you don't think college is for you, I suggest checking out the programs at your local technical school to see what best fits with your interests.


College doesn't always have to be the next step after high school. My parents both went back to school while I was growing up. There are lots of non-traditional options for college including night classes and online programs.

Katie recommends the following next steps:

  • Check out your local technical school to see if they have a certification/degree program that fits your interests.
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Louise’s Answer

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Destney,

A college degree is a great asset. While we've heard of people succeeding without a college degree, it is not necessarily true for everyone. Many of those who have succeeded professionally without a college education ended up enrolling in college later on. They realized that their success did not guarantee certain knowledge (i.e. business management or law) that could be beneficial to their line of work.

Most importantly, knowledge is power. Material possessions can be taken away due to mismanagement or what have you. However, nobody can take away the knowledge and skills one acquired through a college education.

Finally, success is not only measured by accumulated possessions or accolades. A person is equally successful when they follow through on what they are passionate about, thus fulfilling their goals in life.

Best wishes to you!

Louise recommends the following next steps:

  • Find out what you are passionate about, as this will lead to a successful and fulfilling career.
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Baah’s Answer

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My answer is yes and no. Yes because a chosen course offered at the college that is in line with your given talent becomes refined, well polished and when exhibited create a market for itself.
No because a chosen course at the college which is not in line with one's talent create conflict between raw talent and knowledge. It just like creating a nice out molded 16th-century means of transport like a galloping horse to be used at today's time demanding world. How creative you would had become to have created that but how will that horse move people from Ghana to America within two hours? Your raw talent will be admired but there will be more negatives attached to your work than positives and this what college seeks to address. College does not determine your success your talent does but an unpolished talent is not realised. You talent needs to be polished at college in order for it full potential to be felt. Building up Certifications by moving from college to college with no relevance to talent is like fetching water into a basket.
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Melanie’s Answer

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Hi Destney! My initial response to your question is, "No", college is not necessary to have a successful career. HOWEVER (notice, that's a pretty big "HOWEVER"), what is extremely critical is for you to be a life long learner. Things are forever changing and you must be willing to change quickly and often to remain relevant in the field you choose.

Many companies and/or institutions post positions requesting/requiring candidates have a college degree. In this situation, a college degree will increase your chances for consideration.

This said, as I stated previously, continued learning is critical and based on what type of career you choose, will depend on what type of learning is required. Whether learning via a trade school, certification courses or your traditional higher learning institutions (College/University), to excel in what you do and advance in your career, staying relevant through continuous learning is a must!

There are several web sites that offer quizzes regarding what type of career is right for you. This type of testing is usually offered in school also. Perhaps this is something your adviser or counselor can assist you with. The results might offer you great insight and point you in the right direction on your journey!

Education coupled with experience and a can-do attitude is the perfect recipe for success, Destney. The fact that you are already inquiring as to how you can be successful is inspiring! I am sure you will do great things!!

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Shannon’s Answer

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Although college is definitely not required for all career paths, it is definitely something recruiters look for on resumes. So it could be the factor that gets you in the door, versus another candidate. If you are still unsure what type of career you’d like to have, them college is a highly recommended first step. It will give you the credentials, the knowledge, and the experience that will help you to know more about yourself and the world, which will help you to decide what career path makes sense for you. If the cost of college is what’s making you second guess it, please take the time to research options. There’s help out there, and it’s so worthwhile to invest in your education.
If you already know the career you'd like, them maybe technical schools, or earning particular certifications relevant to that field, are a better option. Those are great alternatives to college depending on the industry that interests you.
Good luck!
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GABRIELA’s Answer

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Yes as a career will go with you anywhere you go and will make you more competitive.
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Vineeta’s Answer

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The quick answer is "NO". You can be a college grad, and still be a total failure.
However, the chances of success are much higher with a college degree. If you are in a course that you would love your life to be invested in, it is definitely the best start. A college degree starts you on a path to financial and personal success. After that, it is totally up to you to make a good life for yourself. There are a lot of ways to define success in your life. If you have an education, you will probably have better opportunities.
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Susan’s Answer

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Any place that that helps you learn your craft by providing a:
quality education/content
culture of learning that suits your personality/learning style
reasonable financial investment that won't burden you the rest of your life
group of peers that support you personally and challenge you professionally
team of professors who make you feel successful practicing your craft even when it's hard
...is a step in the right direction.
Susan
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Harish’s Answer

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Education in college is a significant part of your life and career in terms of education and personality development. You get an opportunity to interact with a wide range of people and develop your expertise in your field of interest. You tend to master a specific domain and get into the eyes of various companies and startups for job opportunities.
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Boopathy’s Answer

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College is not necessary for a career when you hard work, will come up in a career sometimes you are wasting year spending time in college. College is required when your studies are very relevant to your career and it demands so that you can shape and sharpen your career.
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Arjun’s Answer

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This is important but not necessary

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Ron’s Answer

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Hi Destney,

My brother and I are both software developers. We've had similar career trajectories, especially taken in 5 year averages. I have a B.S. Computer Science. He dropped out of college after a year. One of his professors taught one class and worked full time in eCommerce. When my brother took his class the professor offered him a job so he dropped out. I stayed in college for an extra 3 years.

I definitely started at a higher salary than he did, but he also got paid for 3 years while I was still in school and accumulating student debt. There were times where he had to work harder to be heard. I also feel that finishing my degree taught me how to more gracefully navigate some of the politics in the workplace. Sometimes it doesn't matter why something has to be done, it just has to get done.

Once you have some idea of where you are headed career-wise you should talk to people currently in the field and ask what they think about a candidate with vs. without a college degree.
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Arjun’s Answer

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College is important but not necessary.

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Josana’s Answer

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Hi Destney,

That's a very nice that you are asking for an opinion as you might feel uncertain for the choices ahead of you. However, you shall not forget that this topic is relative for each one of us and in the end of the day it is you the person that will take the decisions and consequences. It seems to me that you are wondering around as you don't know neither what you want to do nor how you will do it.

Some of us seems to have it figured out, whereas some others struggle with it...and it is normal, maybe you still haven't experience work that is meaningful, that will motivate you enough to start off your day. Nevertheless do not forget that time is the most precious element and as sooner you start the "process of knowing yourself" as better. This doesn't necessarily mean that you will have it all sorted out...no one does! At least you will be on the right track .

I would suggest you a very simple task, take a pen and paper and write 10 positive traits that you have and 5 traits that you need to work on, 10 things that you love to do, 5 things that you will never like to do. Take another paper and write down 5 dreams, everyone has dreams, even better if those are dreams from childhood, compare these papers and make a list of goals. I would recommend you working in daily and monthly goals. Write your goals and stick those papers in the wall.

With or without college you need a plan in mastering your skills, that is how you become successful. You need to know what is your value proposition and how are you marketing yourself. If you decide to pursue a degree it is essential that you chose the right major that fits your character and that will contribute in your achievements.

If you would ask me personally, I would say that college is necessary in becoming successful, because that is how it worked for me, I needed education to discover different aspects of my self, and I still need further education, but again I personally know very successful people without a college degree. Choose a path that you love and it challenges you in the mean time...there is where success hides. Over and above, success is not defined the same for everyone, for some success is only money, for others success is fame, family, philanthropy,...etc

but what is success for you?


Josana recommends the following next steps:

  • If you still haven't found that purpose that will enlighten your being read: "The Power of Purpose", by Richard J. Leider, but if you fear change way too much read: "How to Find Fulfilling Work" by Roman Krznaric.
  • Write to yourself...write about yourself.
  • Seek suggestions from professionals that are close to you, such as your professors.
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Tsveta’s Answer

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Hello Destney,

What do you believe is necessary for a successful career? I believe the below would definitely help a ton:

1. Know people in the industry
College can introduce you to so many people that you may end up working with or for. I have seen many of my classmates ending up in positions that let's just say I am happy that I was nice to them. Also, your professors are a great source, not only knowledge and experience, but also network. I hope you understand how small the world is and how people just know each other. Use your connections wisely.

2. Be organized
Well, what better way to learn how to stay organized and prioritize accordingly than work-school-friends-family-maybe some time for myself life? Yes, learning how to manage all of that by actually doing it is most effective.

3. Learn how things are done in the real world.
If you do not go to college, it would be hard to get a job at certain fields without some experience first. And I am not talking about your beautifully written resume. What I mean is actual experience, so that you know what you are doing. Internship is a great opportunity to pretty much get introduced in it and see if you like it or not. How do you get an internship? Mostly through college, so pack your books :)

Let me make one thing clear - I do not believe that college teaches you everything you need to know. However, it can connect you to the people and resources and if you are being smart, you will succeed. Use everything as an opportunity to learn, do not count on college to do it for you. Graduating does not mean that it is over now and you will start the job of your dreams. College exposes you to so much, it is up to you if you will go for it or not! Note: if you do, make sure that you pat in-state fees.

Hope that helps!


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Michael Ivelin’s Answer

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It all depends on what you want to do in life. Certain careers require an education as their professional licenses are tied to it. For example, if you want to become and auditor or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) you will need 150 college hours of which 30 need to be in accounting. It's the same way for lawyers, dentists, doctors, and etc. However, if you want to become a plumber, electrician, or mechanic, no education is required. You can learn a lot of these jobs by just taking an online course or starting a job at a company that would provide you with training.

The first step that you need to draw down some ideas of what you like to do and see what jobs correspond with that. Then do some research and determine what the requirements for those jobs are and what kind of money are earned for them. A lot of times you might want to do something, but when you realize that you will be making close to minimal wage doing it, you reconsider your options. For example, my friend wanted to be a firefighter because his father was. He did the one-year training and when he finally became one he realized that he was making only about $1,800 a month which was not enough for him to pay his bills. Therefore, he started a second full time job as an ambulance driver. However, even with that job he still could barely make $3,000 from both jobs a month and he did not had any free time as he was working over 80 hours a week. Now he is a truck driver and he makes over $4,000 a month working 5 days a week as a local truck driver. He is home every night and has all of the necessary benefits.


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Deena’s Answer

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I don’t believe that you must go to college in order to be successful but I do believe it’s kind of like trying to bake chocolate chip cookies without sugar they still taste OK but they taste really great with sugar. College makes working life more manageable

Deena recommends the following next steps:

  • If offered the choice would you rather have no cookies or cookies without sugar
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Nancy’s Answer

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Destney,

Hi, great question!

College is not always necessary for a successful career. Other paths to career education are vocational high school programs, which are free and can prepare a student for work in certain technical trades, child care, restaurant work, bookkeeping, and other jobs that don’t require college. Ask your guidance counselor at your high school.

Another career that doesn’t require college sometimes is sales. If you are a good salesperson, your skills will be in demand no matter your educational background. You could try a part time sales job to see whether you like it.

Nancy recommends the following next steps:

  • Consider this website to learn more and get you thinking about no college careers: https://money.usnews.com/money/careers/slideshow/25-best-jobs-that-dont-require-a-college-degree
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