Cedarville students are no strangers to pricey tuition or an economy that is less-than-friendly to college grads. So many wonder if the cost of a college degree is really worth it, especially if they major in fields that probably won’t easily earn them steady jobs or substantial paychecks.
I recently read an article in Popular Mechanics called “The College Bubble” that discussed rising college costs and if attending college is worthwhile. Glenn Harlan Reynolds wrote that pursuing trades that don’t require a college degree may be a better option because wages are often comparable.
Reynolds said students that choose college should major in fields such as computer science, business or engineering because those graduates make a significant income. He said students pursuing fields in the humanities do not.
“A degree that won’t add to your earnings potential isn’t an investment, but an expensive consumer item,” Reynolds wrote. “It may be nice to have — but so is a Ferrari. … The difference is, nobody’s encouraging 18-year-olds to take on six-figure debt to buy a Ferrari.”
That made me cringe. Is pursuing my calling — if it won’t get me a cushy job — really comparable to making a vanity purchase like a sports car?
Reynolds has several holes in his logic. First, it’s nearly impossible to get anywhere in a company, or even get a decent job, without a college degree. Most applications require a four-year degree to even be considered. It can always be a hindrance not to have a degree but having one can never hurt you.
The value of a college degree stretches beyond income possibilities. You learn to think critically about the world. You discuss important topics with learned professors and students who have different ideas. You take courses that help you discover what you enjoy, what you do well and what you should pursue. And you build lifelong friendships.
When God gives you a passion for something, it doesn’t matter if a career in that field will earn you a house in Beverly Hills or a cardboard box. You should pursue that wholeheartedly. Don’t quit college or change your major to accounting because you’re a theater major and directors aren’t banging down your door to offer you a lead role in “Wicked 2.” College will give you so much more than just the information of how to do a job. God is going to use the talents He has blessed you with and the experiences and knowledge you glean in college to advance His Kingdom, big paycheck or not. You have to trust that He is going to provide.
So study what you want to study. Learn as much as you can and give your all to whatever major you feel called to. Soak up everything you can from college. Let God do the rest.