Point of View
The Promise Of A College Degree
By Trevor Roberts
Jan 30, 2013 - 10:36:37 AM

UNITED STATES—Let me warn readers this piece is not in any way attempting to sway our young generation from obtaining a higher education its to warn them to be prepared that a college degree alone does not guarantee you a job. I remember my senior year of high school so vividly, primarily because I couldn’t wait to move onto bigger and better things. In high school, you never quite know who your true friends are, in college you do, but that is beyond the point.  

A Diploma (courtesy Facebook)


I knew my senior year just exactly what I thought my major would be when I got to college. I decided to major in journalism. Was that ever a mistake because after one journalism class I was done. I swapped my major immediately to English and found my calling. It was quite odd to have an advisor encourage me to change, heck I learned nearly all English majors had initially started as journalism majors. Being a student of the liberal arts arena we got a lot of flack. Just what can you do with an English degree?  Everyone automatically assumes you want to teach which is not the case. 


We had the opportunity to have in my opinion one of the most diverse majors on campus. You were able to dabble in other minors and majors to find a field that suited you best. For me it was cinema. The perception is all movie buffs love watching movies and it’s not true. We like to debate movies; see the good, the bad and ugly in pictures that are sometimes overlooked by the public. But enough with my college years, it was post graduation where the realization came. 


Just exactly what am I going to do with my degree? Honestly I had no idea, no one prepares you for life post college.  It’s up to you to figure things out. Of course I wanted to become a filmmaker, but it’s hard to pay the bills when you don’t have any income coming in. I just worked my butt off for a degree and no one ever told me that getting a job would be difficult.  I was always told once you have that degree everything changes, but even during my senior year in college I was thinking about my options, but there was no guidance to put me in the right direction. 


Even professors were ambivalent to a degree, some would say go to graduate school. They had a good point, everyone has a degree nowadays, you have to set yourself apart and get a master’s degree because not everyone has that. Unfortunately another four years of school was not apart of my plans, not yet anyway. 

So I scrambled to find work. I had my previous job since high school that I worked throughout college, but I hated the place so much, but it was money that I needed. I transitioned to putting myself out there and stumbled across a tutoring gig at the university that gave me a newfound respect for teachers. Teaching is hard, but if you’re passionate about it you’ll find a way to get your message to all of your students even if it requires you to adjust your initial plan in the beginning. But that gig was just the start of what was expected for me. 


I was so desperate to find something I applied for an internship for a newspaper. I wasn’t too big on internships because with most of them you never get paid, but I gave it a shot.  Who would have expected the guy who dropped journalism as his first choice would be brought back to it?  Honestly, if you would have told me I’d be writing for a newspaper I would have laughed in your face, but sometimes your calling finds you. It took some time to perfect my skill, but I got comfortable. 


It was a different style of writing for me, but it’s a skill no one can take from me. That’s the great thing about being a writer, there’s versatility. You can do so many things. News writing, magazine writing, reporting, books, screenplays, music, theatre, sports writing, the list goes on and on.  Let’s face it writers create multiple forms of entertainment for the masses.


My goal is for anyone planning to go to college, do not just sit and wait for a job to come to you. You have to be proactive, find out what it is you want, but in addition, do not be afraid to try something new. A lot of the times you’ll surprise yourself with the talents in your arsenal. If you’re expecting to walk out of college with a degree and to have a job waiting for you, forget it. Start preparing your junior year rather you might pursue a higher education or if you’ll be entering the job force. 


So many college students graduate without ever working a day in their life, and that’s not a good sign for employers; they want to know you have some job skills. So even if your parents are paying for your tuition get a job, even if its part-time its something that you can display on your resume for employers to see. Network, network, network; I can’t stress this enough, talk to other students, talk to your advisor, but more importantly talk to your professors they can provide really good advice on where to begin your job search and what you can do with your degree.


My biggest advice for any college bound or student in college is take control of your future, know what you want, its great to have a plan in life, but nothing goes as according, curveballs are thrown your way. When that happens entertain that idea, you just might find your calling, never knowing it was there the entire time.

© Copyright 2007 by canyon-news.com