March 5th, 2010
A quick Internet search reveals a number of careers you can enter without having a college degree, especially if you happen to possess that entrepreneurial spark. While it's true that there are a variety of options out there for those without degrees, having a degree does provide you with certain advantages in the job market.
When you're determining the value of your college education to your future career (outside of a direct career school), you must think in terms of the qualities employers look for in employees. One of the many strengths college can equip you with is communications skills. Almost all associate and bachelor's degree programs require students to take one course each in communication and speech. The former hones your ability to effectively get a message across, and the other reinforces your public speaking skills. Both of these are highly in demand in the workplace. You boss will want to know that you can listen to the instructions and work assignments given to you, communicate them clearly to the co-workers who share mutual tasks with you, and make coherent presentations to a group of people without your knees knocking.
Another job skill that college strengthens is your writing skills. While most degree programs will require you to take English composition, there are a number of basic and core courses that will require you to write essays and papers. All it takes is a quick look around at the status updates on your favorite social network site to realize that many people pay very little attention to spelling, grammar and clear writing. And if you had access to the horrendous resumes and cover letters that HR managers have to sift through every day that are riddled with elementary grammar and spelling errors, you would realize how valuable it is to be able to write correctly and effectively.
In the working world, you will need to demonstrate your ability to work well with others as a contributing part of a team. In college, many of the classes you take will require that you complete one or more group projects, forcing you to learn how to work successfully with others in order to pass the class.
Last but not least, when you complete a college degree, you're telling future employers that you're able to set a goal for yourself and do what it takes to meet that goal. One of the reasons employers like to hire college graduates is because they perceive that the graduate will be able to apply himself to a task and be more likely to finish what he starts.