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What are the benefits of going to college?

I'm looking to become a Power Plant Operator, and want to get my bachelor's at Mississippi State University in Mechanical Engineering. Would this actually benefit me?

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Aastha’s Answer

Hey Alorna! As everyone mentioned above, going to college really depends on the experience you hope to get out of it! I believe that finding out whether it is the right place for you has a few steps. You can attend a college class before you enroll to see if you like the structure. See if there are clubs or organizations you like, and can you really see yourself on campus. More than college helping you with your professional goals, it should be a place that you like and can thrive.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Aastha. Alorna
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John’s Answer

Alorna you should consider several factors when deciding whether to attend a university or college. Large universities offer an almost limitless variety of academic pathways, people, and resources, whereas small colleges promise a close-knit community and more intimate classroom settings. If your cost-conscious Alorna, pursue a bachelor's degree starting with your education at a two-year college. Completing general education requirements before transferring to a four-year university remains an extremely cost-effective option that can save you thousands of dollars. If, however, you're concerned about staying engaged in your studies and would feel more productive in a vibrant university environment, starting off at a community college might not be the best choice. Each type of higher education institution offers advantages and disadvantages. It's up to you to determine which one best aligns with your personality, your interests, and your financial and professional goals.

Before you do anything else, sit down and ask yourself the hard questions. Think about who you are and what you want to get out of college. This is admittedly tough to do - if you’re anything like me in high school, you’re still feeling pretty unsure about your future plans. When I say to think about “who you are”, I mean that you need to evaluate the interests and personality traits that most strongly affect your daily life and consider how they will impact your college experience. If you’re very introverted, for example, you may feel uncomfortable at a big party school or in a city environment. If you’re a super picky eater, you should look for colleges that have a flexible meal plan and a wide variety of food options. As for what you want to get out of college, this can be more complicated, but it boils down to thinking about your academic interests and any other activities you plan on continuing in college. If you have a field of study in mind, then you should go somewhere that has strong academic offerings in that area. You may be surprised at which schools have great programs. Just because you haven’t heard of a school doesn’t mean it’s not an awesome fit for you.

The most important question to ask yourself is "What makes me happiest?" Even if you feel like you “have” to go to a certain school or your parents are pushing you in a particular direction, try to focus on what YOU really want. If prestige is a priority for you, that’s fine, but make sure it’s actually valuable to you and not just to your parents or others who might influence you. College is four years of your life, and that’s not something to take lightly. You’re the one who will be having this experience - not your parents, not your friends, and not your teachers.

Hope this is helpful Alorna




Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is beautifully in-depth! Alorna
Thank you comment icon The real opportunity for success Alorna lies within you and not in your college degree. John Frick
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Safwan’s Answer

Hi Alorna,

I did some research and found on a respected government website on careers that power plant operators require a high school diploma or higher. I think generally for jobs, a college degree makes you more qualified for a position, but this position specifically does not require it.

Here's the link for reference

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/power-plant-operators-distributors-and-dispatchers.htm#:~:text=Power%20plant%20operators%2C%20distributors%2C%20and%20dispatchers%20typically%20need%20at%20least,for%20these%20highly%20technical%20jobs.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Safwan! Alorna
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Dan’s Answer

Safwan's answer includes a good web link that does say a High School diploma is the basic requirement for a plant operator. However I believe that a college degree in engineering or management would be very useful and allow you to have a greater advantage throughout your career. To start, you will have a college degree which should put you ahead of other potential hiring candidates that do not have a degree. It will also provide you greater knowledge and less learning curve than the High School graduates. And it should allow you greater potential later in life if you decide (or must) change careers. It also allows you a greater potential to move into management which pays a higher salary. When I retired from a manager position, two different employees applied for my job. One of them was highly qualified but did not have a college degree so was immediately disqualified.

If you can afford the college degree and you are willing to put forth the effort, I believe you will be better off over the life of your working career.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your answer! I appreciate your insight. Alorna
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Lai’s Answer

College could help you to prepare for future career, not only in term of theoretical knowledge but also mental. It could help you to understand your field of interest, train your soft skill and improve your skill of stress managing. The knowledge you learn from college may not be 100% apply to your career, but the problem solving skill you get from college life definitely benefit you in a way that beyond your imagination.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your points, thank you very much! Alorna
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Ethiopia’s Answer

Hi Alorna, I would say that learning to be on your own and responsible for yourself and making your day what you want it to be is one benefit. I would also say that meeting people from all over, establishing friends as well as networking is another benefit. Being able to be serious with classes and social with people made college a great experience for me!!!
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