To degree or not degree

By Loquitur Editorial Board
April 18, 2023

Student Debt Thoughts and Nightmares. Comic by Emma Regulski
Student Debt Thoughts and Nightmares. Comic by Emma Regulski

In March 2023, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro signed an executive order stating that government jobs will no longer require a four-year degree. This order covers 92% of government jobs in the commonwealth and Georgia and Alaska have since followed suit. Eliminating the required four-year degree opens up more employment opportunities for everyone, moves like this from the state level make us wonder if a college degree really worth the effort and expense.

Higher education enrollment

Compared to fall of 2019 there is an 18.9% drop in first-year enrollment in higher education. In September 2021, 100,000 fewer high school seniors completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid than during the prior year. Campus engagement may also be down because so many high schoolers spent much of their education online. Not to mention that trade schools could be a viable and less expensive alternative to a traditional college or university education.

So, it’s worth asking: what are the benefits of a college education?

Students spend four in-depth years learning about their majors and having hands-on experience with internships and on-campus activities. Often jobs, there are requirements for six or more years of experience on top of a bachelor’s degree and the projects or research conducted in college can count on a resume. Most jobs ask for a bachelor’s degree as a minimum but many high paying or leadership jobs now require a master’s degree. 

College graduates are more likely to make more money per year than individuals who only have a high school degree. College grads make about $52,000 per year while those with a high school diploma make $30,000

Personal connections

But college is about more than just education and future careers, it is about the experience and growth that comes along with being on your own. The interpersonal skills and connections you create at college can be just as valuable as a degree. Cabrini Communication department is a great example of these connections. 

A large part of this has to do with student engagement, as campus organizations such as the Loquitur, Social Nexus, Cavalier Radio, and House 67 Productions call the communication wing their home. Within these programs, skills such as video/audio editing, copy editing, social media management, camera operation, journalism, broadcasting, and so much more are points of emphasis. Students are often involved in multiple programs at one time, leading to collaboration in work which fosters a sense of community. The communication department at Cabrini is essentially a microcosm of how a modern-day educational workspace can provide value for professional endeavors. 

Cabrini University has a high job placement rate post-graduation. 94% of graduates are employed two years after graduation, while 91% of graduates are employed six years after graduation. Students who attend Cabrini are confident they’ll find a suitable full-time job after graduating.

In 2021, 61.8% of high schooler students enrolled in college after graduation. It is important to note the privilege that comes with a college degree. Education is a human right and should be available to all who want to gain knowledge but unfortunately, in the United States, a college education comes with a hefty debt that many can simply not afford.

The eight Loquitur editors who have had the privilege of pursuing a higher education degree, several of whom will graduate next month, believe the answer is clear: yes, college is expensive, challenging, and long. And also, yes, we believe college is worth it all.

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