Beyond the Job Hunt
Published: Thursday, May 17, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 17, 2012 20:05
The future has been at the forefront of senior class members’ minds for the past few months as their undergraduate years come to a close. More specifically, graduating seniors are asking themselves whether four years of hard work and accumulated debt have been worthwhile.
A person’s academic performance in college has long been considered a sign of his potential to succeed. But as more and more people receive bachelor’s degrees, an undergraduate education is no longer sufficient qualification for many jobs. Employers now expect graduate degrees, technical skills and outside work experience from applicants, calling into question the value of an undergraduate liberal arts education.
But an undergraduate degree, especially one in the liberal arts, has value beyond potential economic returns. College provides the opportunity to explore majors that some deem “useless,” like philosophy or those in the fine arts. These majors, while not technically training students in specific skill sets, offer unique lenses through which to view the world and are thus opportunities to expand student perspectives.
College is not merely an opportunity to prepare for one specific skill or eventual career. Given the growing need for graduate degrees, undergrads should now be free to pursue majors once considered economically impractical. Students should no longer feel the need to choose the major most conducive to a professional track.
As Georgetown graduates step into the world of salaries and mortgages, they should feel proud and satisfied. Their degrees represent a hurdle overcome in their pursuit of professional success, but more importantly, the last four years have helped them to understand the world that they are stepping into.