Zach McKinley / The Daily Gamecock

Opinion: College is for more than just a job or career

One of the main questions many students are asking in college is, “How will this get me a job?” And a lot of people will respond with a (somewhat condescending and redundant) response that it’s not for a job, but for a career. 

However, there is so much more to education than just the hopes of getting money. Of course, in the long run, everyone is going to need to be able to pay off their education, but isn’t it sad that all of our efforts and creative ideals are going into the hopes that one day we may make some coin?

Sure, it’s nice to get a pat on the back for a job well done — and nothing does that better than a paycheck — but is it not also nice to know that you have the abilities and the knowledge to even get it done in the first place? People get so upset because they have to take core classes under the guise that they’re never going to use them, but that's not the point of the classes.

College courses are not supposed to be specifically designed to make everyone into workers through thorough job training, but instead act as a gateway for students to independently decide what they want to get out of their education. Going into a major just because people think the classes are easy probably means the student will have an easy time, but that also means they may not get much out of it. 

Instead, it is suggested that people go for the opposite route and push themselves to do something difficult to make themselves better humans. As in everything, people have to go through the requirements that can lead to the fun things, but that doesn't mean the not-so-fun parts aren't as important

The concepts students learn in their courses are supposed to make it so that everyone can think critically in a multitude of subjects, and while it is nice to see that the education is just as important outside the job market, it is also good to know that it can help there too. In this case, because 88 percent of employers said that to succeed in the workplace employees need higher levels of learning and broader knowledge than they did in the past, general education courses have gained a bit more support by the working world. 

On top of that, college classes and, specifically, core courses are to prepare people for more than just jobs that are currently around. In fact, they are setting the groundwork for jobs that do not even exist yet

Away from the job market, it is important to know about more than just one thing. Sure, specialization is great, but in this age of globalization, core classes help people improve their problem-solving abilities and understanding of global issues, cultures and perspectives  — something this world is in desperate need of right now. The concepts taught in general education classes help people gain agency and competency skills that stick with them even after they have forgotten the teachings of their scattered 101 classes. 

Jobs are going to help you specialize in your field, and that is why college is so hard. The classes students are taking are helping them understand and conceptualize a world outside of just their point of interest. Although — even after all the heavy weighted reasons as to why general education classes are important — sometimes the most a few people will get out of them are some answers to obscure Jeopardy questions, and that's okay too. 


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