While listening to a podcast, I heard an age-old adage, “college isn’t for everyone.”

Instantly, I went on a full mental rage about how this antiquated idea does a gross disservice to our community.

It’s an old wives’ tale that is neither useful nor applicable to this time. It’s purpose was to comfort blue-collar workers and those that, due to financial constraints, were unable to afford college. Today it’s nothing more than a poor excuse for underachievement — a recipe for failure.

If you have a passion, you should want to gain as much knowledge in that field or industry as humanly possible.

Not only does a degree give you knowledge, it provides tangible certification of your expertise. Nowadays, the “common man” or the “average Jane” are degree-holding members of society.

Many police officers hold criminal justice degrees. Hotel and restaurant managers hold hospitality degrees. Even construction workers hold degrees in construction management or architecture. Technological advances affect every industry, and it is essential to stay current to ensure longevity and professional success.

The 2010 U.S. census bureau reports 87 percent of adults 25-and-older hold high school diplomas or more. A bachelor’s degree, these days, is a qualifying factor for even applying for jobs.

College offers you the rare sampler plate of career options, and encourages you to try as many as necessary until you find the one that best fit your interests. It’s a place of social maturation.

The cultural, fiscal, and mental diversity of a university setting is unparalleled. The atmosphere encourages trial-and-error, exchanging ideas, and team work. The skill of being a thriving member of a diverse team is expected in the corporate environment, especially as an entrepreneur. College is the practice run for your professional development.

Proponents of this theory often cite Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and even entertainers like Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs as successful non-college graduates. They have all experienced exceptional success, but it is just that…the exception to the rule. Although not immediate college graduates both Oprah and Bill Gates, even with their level of success, saw the value and later completed their degree programs.

Be a competitive and active member of this society. Even if your career choice doesn’t require a degree, the benefits of networking with peers at an early stage will expand your pool of resources. The phrase, “college is not for everybody,” was once a useful moral boost for the common workforce; it no longer has a place in this society.

As always,

L.I.V.E. H.O.P.E G.I.V.E. H.O.P.E.

Teneasha Pierson
Marketing Director
The H.O.P.E. Scholarship