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Four-year college path not required for success

By Isabel Vega and Jamie Yoos
Opinions Editor and Correspondent

Every year, the price of a college tuition rises, which fuels the debate over whether or not a traditional, four-year higher education program is actually necessary for everyone. Because students can end up in such extreme debt, I think attending college is definitely not a required path for everyone. If people do decide to attend college, their choice should be independent and uninfluenced by their family, peers and society at large.

Some parents may need to be involved in this choice for financial reasons, and no one should feel pressure to go to college, especially when those expenses put a heavy burden on families. Although a college degree is necessary for many career paths, it is possible to get a job that brings in a high enough income to support a family without needing higher education.

Education does not always come in the traditional form of a four-year degree. There are numerous jobs that are becoming increasingly popular, pay well and are accessible to workers who possess an associate’s degree, post-secondary award, certification or apprenticeship. Investing in trade school is a smart move that can be beneficial to your career as well.

Trade jobs are in high demand and do not require a costly college education to pursue. Fast-growing careers that require minimal schooling include becoming a dental hygienist, a plumber or an electrician. These jobs don’t require much education and in many cases, all you need is a two-year associate’s degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For some jobs, even a high school diploma or certificate is enough to get you started.

According to, the median salary for dental hygienists is $74,070 per year and job opportunities have grown by 20 percent.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 75 percent of people with a traditional bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering or math are not even employed in the fields they studied. This proves that a traditional four-year education is not always all it’s cracked up to be.

College is not necessary for everyone, and no one should feel shame or ridicule for de- ciding not to pursue higher education. Only certain careers require a college education, so there’s no reason to be shamed for not go- ing. College should be a choice that students make for their own future.

The stigma that everyone needs to go to college is wrong and harmful, and I believe people who choose not to go to college should not be looked at as less qualified than those who do. The only thing that should matter is finding a career you enjoy that supports your lifestyle. After all, everyone deserves to make an independent choice for their own future.

Students share opinions around campus

“Is a four-year college education vital for success?”

Selma Sose, a freshman psychology major.
“If you want a professional job, yes. It depends on the person and what their strengths and weaknesses are.”

Keley Kobus, a freshman elementary education and psychology dual major.
“For certain careers it’s necessary, but it’s possible to have success without a college education.”


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