A huge question facing young people today is whether or not college is worth the financial investment.
With more and more people of all ages pursuing higher education and the over-saturation of markets, it’s becoming harder to succeed in the professional world with just a degree.
A growing number of skeptics view college as a financial trap, mainly because most students have to take out loans that later must be paid back with interest.
Finding work immediately after graduation isn’t guaranteed and this debt can be stressful for a young professional to manage, so preparing to find a career after college should always be a priority for students.
Luckily, institutions like USI offer a plethora of services to students (many of them free or worked into tuition) that can prepare them for successful professional lives.
It’s important to get everything you can out of college, both socially and professionally, because those connections can last a lifetime.
Networking especially can open doors; For example, you walk into a waiting room and find nine other people interviewing for the same job as you. You all have degrees, volunteer experience and references.
What sets you apart from your competition?
The interviewer steps out of the office. You met this man before at your college career fair, introduced yourself, and he remembers you. In a stack of beautifully constructed resumes, yours stands out because there is a face and personality to the name.
Networking with your peers is just as important.
Use your peers as resources, people to bounce ideas off of.
By joining student organizations or studying abroad you can make valuable, lifelong connections. USI has over 140 student organizations to choose from, including Greek Life, sports clubs and organizations pertaining to specific fields.
Study abroad can also be a rewarding experience for those who want an education with a global component.
USI is affiliated with 100 institutions in over 60 countries, and there are plenty of scholarships and fundraising opportunities available to offset costs. Take advantage of these opportunities and get to know your peers. Who knows, one of your classmates could be offering you a job one day.
The university also offers a variety of professional resources students can take advantage of. Things like knowing how to give a firm handshake can set you apart, and in today’s competitive job market, that can make all the difference.
The Career Development Center is an excellent resource and provides services such as interview preparation, resume assistance and Eagle Career Launch.
In today’s job market you really must sell yourself to employers and prove to them you can be an asset. Gaining these skills while in school will put you a step ahead because you can walk into an interview with more than just a degree; you can walk in with a set of skills and valuable connections.
College isn’t for everyone. However, it can be an enriching experience if one takes advantage of all it has to offer.
In university, students have access to a cornucopia of resources at a considerably lower cost than what they would be in the real world.
For the opportunity to acquire competency in a specific field of study while networking and cultivating skills, college can be a rewarding investment.
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