My parents taught me that education is a lifelong endeavor that no one can take away from you. They believed that the best investment you can make is the one you make in yourself and your education. Today, I continue to believe a lifelong commitment to learning will always be priceless.
Depending on the type of career you want to have, you may or may not need a college education. But if you want to work for a corporation, it’s highly likely that a college degree is going to be a minimum requirement for consideration.
That said, I firmly believe that learning happens inside and outside of the classroom. What’s most important is that you set goals for yourself and understand how you need to be educated and which skills and experiences you need to achieve them. If you want to be a restaurant chef, you may not need a college degree, but you will need real commercial kitchen experience and some formal training in technique.
The state of our current economy is such that you must balance the cost of your education with your earning potential, and how you finance your education should be considered part of the educational experience. Financial literacy should be a key piece of curricula for all high school students; every student should understand how to use online tools to manage the investment made in their pursuit of a formal education.
While it is still true that more doors are likely to open for someone with a college degree, students should be thoughtful about their goals and how they will afford the education needed to achieve those goals. A commitment to aligning learning with your goals and then enhancing your education throughout life is the key to success.
I’m proud to say that more than 20 years after earning my undergraduate degree, I just recently completed my graduate degree. It took a great deal of commitment, but one of the informal lessons I learned was that your education will always be your best investment.