Keeping Your Connections Open
People are faced with important questions every day…Will I follow Christ? Who will I marry? Where will I live and raise a family? However, one of the most important decisions students make concerns postsecondary education and career choice. In today’s world, a college education is no longer a luxury or optional; it’s a necessity. More and more jobs are dependent on students having a college education than ever before. Carnevale, Smith and Strohl (2013) reported that by 2020, 65% of all jobs would require some form of post-secondary education. In their 2010 executive report, they projected that:
- Students who only have a high school diploma may be limited to declining or low paying food and personal service work, sales and office support, and blue collar employment.
- 4.7 million additional workers with postsecondary certificates will be needed by 2018.
- America’s colleges would need to increase the number of degrees they award by 10 percent annually to keep up with the growing demand (p. 1).
With such a great need, one would think that getting into any and every college would be a sure thing. According to Springer, Reider, and Morgan (2013), however, the student demand may exceed the supply of available spots-especially for selective schools. They suggest that greater numbers of high school graduates, increased international students, the prevalent belief that a college education is valuable, greater minority interest, increased recruiting, and the ease to which students can apply creates a climate for greater competition (p. 1-3).
There is no argument that the pros outweigh the cons. According to The College Board’s publication “The Five Ways that Ed Pays,” individuals with a college degree:
- Earn an average of 22K more per year than those only with a high school diploma and are less likely to be unemployed (p 6, 10).
- Are more likely to have employee provided health insurance, time off, and are less likely to be chronically ill (p. 11, 14).
- Are more likely to read to their children and are more than twice as likely to volunteer
The bottom line for Christians is clear – although people without college degrees can have successful lives and ministries, those who are college educated are more likely to enjoy a greater measure of freedom-including more opportunities to give, greater security against hard times, better health, stronger families, and fuller service to others.
Choosing and applying to college is a process that requires thought, prayer, and planning.Yes, it requires work; but it is doable. However, many families can easily become lost in the sheer amount of information needed to get from point A to B. The opportunities, events, and deadlines can seem overwhelming-even for the most seasoned families. The school counseling department at Smithtown Christian School is dedicated to helping parents and students make sense of all that is needed on the road to college by providing information about the most current trends through Connections: SCS School Counseling Newsletter. Offered online and monthly, it’s a great way to stay connected.
Carnevale, A., Smith, N., & Strohl, J. (2013). The road to recovery. Community College Journal, 84(3), 27-29.
Carnevale, A., Smith, N., & Strohl, J. (2010). Help wanted: Projection of jobs and education requirements through 2018. Click here for link.
Springer, S., Reider, J & Morgan, J. (2013) Admission matters: What students and parents need to know about getting into college. San Francisco: CA: Jossey-Bass.
The College Board. (2011). The five ways that ed pays. Click here for link.