Why College Education Is Important 2023? - College Vidya
Jan 30, 2023 1.4K Reads
College education is the stepping stone of higher education and growing one’s knowledge in a specialised field, and is a highly important component for future endeavours in any person’s life. The importance and role of college education for shaping a person’s knowledge and adult life is often undermined and underestimated.
Colleges today are operating in multiple modes, and apart from conventional colleges that are functioning on-campus in the regular mode, there are colleges that are offering education to students in the online mode as well. Such colleges provide an all-round learning experience to students, but through virtual means. So there are many alternative modes of college education that one can choose from today.
With the increasing emphasis that is laid on professional education and skill development in today’s industry-driven world, many students directly take up skill development diploma professional courses online after completing their school education. As a result, many students are skipping formal college education these days to go for professional training to bag jobs.
Colleges are degree-awarding institutions of higher education wherein a learner can take admission after completing school education. Colleges across the world provide education at various levels, be it undergraduate education (Bachelor’s degrees), postgraduate education (Master’s degrees) or doctoral education (Ph.D degrees).
Many students, however, are often unwilling to take up formal college education as it can be seen as a setback or delay towards entering the professional field or going right away for jobs. The popularity of professional diplomas and online certification courses are rising on the other hand. But the importance of college education is underestimated as it plays a key role in the overall growth and development of a person.
In this blog, we try to highlight why going for college education can just be the right choice for you by bringing forth the various benefits of college education.
Why Should You Go For College Education?
College education is a stepping stone in higher education for any person. Not only is it essential for knowledge gain, but also for the development and further honing of skills for meeting future career goals. Some of the prime reasons for considering going for higher education in colleges are given here.
1) Skill Development
Many students complain of the lack of focus on skill development and the excessive focus on textbook-learning in higher educational institutions like colleges and universities. However, in recent times, there has been a major shift of emphasis from education through theoretical learning to active skill development in students.
For varied courses, ranging from the STEM domains to liberal arts, students are trained in application of learnt concepts and skills in real life situations through college education. This helps to build their application ability, analytical ability as well as professional skills and expertise for future career endeavours.
So, a good college education lays the path for a successful career in the future. For example, college curricula actively involves various upskilling courses aspects in recent times such as practicum incorporated into theoretical papers, seminars, course-integrated compulsory internships etc. all of which are aimed at enhancing the practical skills of the students.
In online colleges and universities, similar online measures are taken up by the educational institutions to ensure that students can hone their skills and knowledge. Similar to the regular mode, there are multiple webinars, industry connect sessions, virtual workshops, practical simulations and remote lab facilities etc. which are provided to the students through internet and online learning facilities. Many online universities also have software training programs and practicum sessions for hands-on learning in the live mode, which enables college students to have a comprehensive skill development experience.
2) Diverse Learning Experiences
College education is not just limited to learning that takes place within a classroom. Unlike conventional school settings, students experience diverse learning experiences in college. This includes learning through classroom discussions, through peer conversations and discussion, management of college events, through networking and through encountering diverse opinions.
Moreover, since most colleges and universities in today’s educational setup do not limit themselves to classroom lectures but actively ensure industrial learning through training workshops, seminars, industry talks etc., students also get to develop their skills and practical knowledge through college education.
In the case of online higher education institutions, a major criticism proposed against them is the lack of college learning experience. However, this is a myth about online learning, as the majority of the vast learning experiences that students can get in a regular offline mode of college can also be experienced in online learning settings.This can be seen in the form of the various online learning events, webinars, conferences, industrial and hands-on sessions that are conducted in addition to the classroom lectures.
Moreover, online colleges are increasingly turning to specially designed peer discussion and interaction forums for students to come together for better interaction and forming student networks and communities. Some colleges invite students to select offline activities or extracurricular sessions to enhance the overall learning experience of college.
3) All-round Exposure
As already stated, college education exposes a student to a host of learning experiences in addition to a classroom lecture. Whether it be handling new responsibilities, interacting with new circles or getting exposed to alternative viewpoints, students definitely get an all-round exposure in colleges.
In addition to being exposed to multiple situations, students also get academic exposure in terms of newer student-teacher dynamics, industrial exposure through workshops, training programs etc. as well as international exposure through the international exchange programs arranged in many colleges.
Online universities are also keeping up with these changing trends in college education and adapting their learning pedagogy and student support to incorporate international connection activities (webinars, industrial sessions, online international conferences), skill development sessions and workshops and practically-oriented learning. Thus college education contributes enormously to the overall exposure and learning of a student.
This kind of learning might be missed out upon in just diploma or crash courses in professional domains. College education, which is conventionally longer than diploma or professional courses in duration, give students the time and environment to hone themselves holistically.
4) Pathway to Higher Education
Since college education, especially in terms of a Bachelor’s degree, is the stepping stone of further education, it proves to be a significant milestone in the learning of students. If one wishes to pursue any higher education in the future, be it professional courses like MBA (Master of Business Administration), PG diplomas or any other Master’s/doctoral education, the minimum eligibility requirement is to have completed a Bachelor's level of education.
So, while some students may choose to skip college education after completing school education, if they want to go for higher education in the future, not having the basic college education can prove to be a setback, as they would be required to obtain a Bachelor's level of education first.
In the case of online universities and colleges, the degrees being conferred by such institutions are also highly valued in recent times and considered equally credible and valid for further education as regular degrees. As per the guidelines issued by the primary statutory body of India for higher education, the University Grants Commission (UGC), online degree holders are equally eligible for applying to all higher education courses as regular degree holders.
Additionally, it is well-known that the undergraduate education lays foundations of advanced learning in a domain. Hence, having completed college education is not only essential for pursuing higher education in the future, but also for nuanced understanding of concepts.
5) Increased Career Opportunities
When you go for conventional college education, the employability chances increase after completion of the degree. In most conventional professional settings, a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree is still highly valued and considered as a milestone in the candidate’s educational background.
Not only in terms of the value placed by employers upon formal college education, but also in terms of the skill sets, knowledge repertoire and the professional skills that college education renders a graduate with, it is important and central in securing appealing job options.
Colleges and universities in recent times also contribute directly to the employability and future career opportunities of students. Colleges and university campuses hold regular placement drives wherein a large number of recruiters (often including MNCs, corporate companies as well as start-ups) participate to extend lucrative job offers with appealing range of perks and benefits to students.
So, college students have the additional advantage of getting the chance of direct placements in a company after graduation instead of searching for jobs and career opportunities. In online colleges and universities, students are provided similar placement opportunities and services as regular colleges.
In the case of online universities, dedicated placement cells provide all-round placement support to students through virtual placement training, grooming and upskilling facilities, virtual placement drives etc. Thus online colleges are also progressing by leaps and bounds in terms of bringing forth the same placement and employment opportunities to students as regular colleges.
They also provide the additional benefit of being able to pursue internships and other professional endeavours alongside the degree, which can provide an additional benefit to online college students of gaining work experience along with higher education, without compromising upon either.
6) Boosts Your Self-Confidence and Inner Satisfaction
Education is important in life, not only from a careeristic perspective but more so from a developmental perspective. It helps to create within students a sense of growth. As college education exposes students to a diverse range of experiences, learning situations and environments, it helps them to gain confidence in their own skills and abilities.
Completing college education is also a major milestone in a person’s life in terms of life achievements, as it is a stepping stone of higher education. Hence, it can lead to great inner satisfaction in a graduate in the short-term. For both online and regular college students, students get exposure both academically and professionally during the period of completing their education, which is beneficial for growing their self-confidence. In the longer-term, college education can become beneficial for better career opportunities and consequently a better quality of life, leading to greater life satisfaction.
7) Holistic Growth
College education exposes a student to a diversity of learning and life experiences in terms of social interactions, professional development, academic learning and so on. Colleges are a throbbing hub of learning, opinions, opportunities and when a student engages in various aspects of college learning, inside and outside the classroom, they are growing and developing themselves holistically.
College education is conducive to the development of academic skills, practical skills, interpersonal skills, soft skills as well as value judgement in students. Moreover, it is conducive to the development of critical thought, abstraction abilities, application skills, efficient problem-solving and informed decision-making in students.
In a regular college, a student is exposed to a diverse variety of social, academic and professional/vocational situations that helps them to develop their set of skills and abilities holistically. Similarly an online college exposes students to a new and innovative learning experience. Not only is the mode of education a very unique opportunity for learners to adapt and learn new skills and ways of learning, but additionally, they also get opportunities to form vast networks, engage in peer discussions, interact with top academic and industrial figures and so on. Thus, a good college education doesn’t only provide knowledge to students but also ensures their holistic growth and development.
8) College Education Encourages Equality and Social Justice
College education helps to bring a plethora of opportunities at the disposal of the graduate for a better future. When individuals from marginalised communities, oppressed communities or backward groups get the opportunity for college education (through state-funded or other measures) it helps to make their voices heard as well as progress towards their upliftment.
For remote areas of many developing countries, providing access to college education to women can be a major milestone to working towards gender equality and better life conditions for both the genders.
Thus, college education becomes instrumental in shaping the life of not just a member of a community but the community itself as it helps in giving them equal chances of growth, fighting the oppression they might have faced, as well as uplifting them by providing impetus for economic betterment. So, college education is closely tied to a better future for many and promoting a sense of social justice.
In the case of online education, this factor becomes even more highlighted, as one of the major rationales behind the creation of online universities and colleges was to bring about more equitable access to education for a larger number of students. Online courses of higher education are much more affordable than many regular courses, both in terms of academic fee amounts and accommodation and related charges.
Moreover, this mode of education is accessible for students from various geographical locations, socioeconomic backgrounds and those who wish to continue their learning alongside a professional pursuit. So, college education is central to making education more accessible to students and ensuring a sense of social equality and upliftment.
9) Contribute to the Welfare of Society
The purpose of a good college education is not only the personal growth of an individual, but also the growth of the society. Since conventionally, students seek college education during their years of emerging adulthood (18 years to 25 years), this period also lays the foundations for their moral and value judgements.
A good college education raises a sense of social understanding, responsibility and moral value system in a student along with disseminating knowledge. Thus, college education helps to shape and support the development of a student’s individual moralities, their values and consequently help towards ensuring that they are responsible adults and citizens of the nation.
Additionally, through college education, a person becomes an asset to the society as they are well-trained, professionally competent and prepared to contribute to the growth and development of the nation’s economy. Since it is a higher level of education, it helps to ensure a trained and well-developed workforce in a country which can help in building a better future for a country.
Hence, college education is beneficial not only for the student at an individual level, but can also play a major role in the development of a nation through its economy, unregimented political and social ideas and scope for the growth and upliftment of all.
College Education and Its Future in India
As was seen through the various ways in which college education shapes the life of a person and helps in their overall and all-round growth, it is understandable that it plays a very important role in one’s life. The scope and opportunities for students wishing to go for college education are now on the rise, with more inclusive measures (e.g. reservation policies for individuals with different abilities, backward classes etc.), financial support (scholarships, state-funded student education, fee waivers and concessions etc.) and innovative modes of learning.
The government of India is also dedicated towards making college education more accessible to students from all around the nation, with innovative learning features and technological support getting introduced in the mainstream universities to promote effective learning and skill development.
If you cannot go in for conventional college education in the regular mode due to constraints, then there are many up and coming alternative options for college education such as online learning (through which you can obtain college education and degrees completely through virtual means) and distance learning (through which you can complete a degree without visiting the college campus regularly).
Regular Education vs Online Education
When it comes to taking up college education, a student may be confused as to which mode or learning path to take. With innovative learning paths stemming up, the dilemma is only a valid one. Here we have provided you a comparison of the online college and university and regular college education.
When it comes to regular education, there are a large number of its benefits and advantages that make it worth taking up. Some of the prominent ones include:
- Being able to engage in active learning through a variety of academic and vocational support programs.
- Engaging in experiential learning through the experience of college life in itself, through discussions with peers, professors etc.
- Honing and developing one’s skills and abilities needed to thrive in an industrial and corporate world.
- Forming strong foundations for future academic goals as well as higher education
- Being able to network and form in-person connections with peers, professors etc.
In comparison to the regular mode of education, online colleges and universities are a recently emerging mode of education. It has its own benefits over regular college education.
Some of the major benefits of online education have been listed below.
- It enables students to overcome financial constraints and continue their education, as it is a much more affordable mode of education.
- Online education allows students to pursue alternative engagements like internships, jobs, vocational programs etc.
- Online education provides flexibility of learning to students, allowing them to learn at their own pace and work on their own academic journey.
- Online colleges provide all-round learning support, similar to the facilities available in a regular college. In recent times, online colleges have dedicated student-support bodies, 24x7 doubt forums, placement services, AI-run practical and remote labs etc. which provide a 360-degree experience of learning to students.
- Online education increases the accessibility of education to a larger number of students, especially those who are unable to pursue their dream course in a regular college due to limited availability of seats, due to financial or relocation constraints, due to personal reasons and so on.
- Online education holds equal value and credibility as an offline course (as per the guidelines of the UGC) and hence is valid for all future educational pursuits, just like a regular degree.
- Online colleges provide a unique learning modality to students through which they can adapt and learn to use technology for better use in academics.
- Online colleges and universities allow students to engage to a vast network of peers, professors and industry experts through the virtual mode. Networking in the online mode may also be beneficial in forming ties and interacting with peers on an international basis.
Thus both online and regular college education provide their own benefits to students, but the importance of college education, irrespective of the mode of learning, remains unquestioned.
College education lays the foundations for a better future in terms of professional scope, personal growth and societal welfare. Thus, it is important to take up college education once a student finishes their secondary education in school. With support from the state and a quest for further learning, a student can go in for college learning and build a successful future for themselves as well as for the society at large.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
College education is important for a variety of reasons, including those like better career opportunities in the future, skill development, all-round learning, personal growth and development, boosted self-confidence, welfare of the society, economic growth and development of the nation and so on.
Yes, a Bachelor’s degree is worth going for since it is the foundational degree course of higher education in a field. It lays the foundations of knowledge and practical skills needed for pursuing higher education in that domain in the future. It is also helpful to explore career opportunities after graduating since students with a Bachelor’s level of education are given more preference over simple high school graduates or diploma holders.
The benefits of going to college include being able to network and form a peer group, come across opportunities for social interaction, skill development, all-round academic and industrial exposure, ensure personal growth and development, rise in self-confidence as well as better career opportunities upon completing the degree.
Yes, college life is very important and considered as one of the most stimulating and crucial periods of young adulthood. This is so because it is this period when one learns in-depth about the chosen knowledge domain, develop and hone their practical and vocational skills needed for their career, form a network or peers and social relationships, work on their overall self-confidence and growth, as well as pave the path for a successful career. College life exposes a student to a vast variety of situations and learning conditions and builds their problem-solving, decision-making, abstract thinking and critical abilities.
Yes, earlier, the common conviction was that college promotes theoretical learning only and students must go for a skill development program or diploma for enhancing their skills and practical abilities. But in recent times, top colleges and universities lay equal emphasis on skill development as theoretical learning, and have incorporated various skill development workshops, seminars and industry-exposure sessions, compulsory internships and practicums into the curriculum. So, yes, college education can prove to be beneficial for skill development.
College education falls in the domain of tertiary education, which is obtained after the completion of primary and secondary education.
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