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Monthly Spotlight: Higher Education

Higher Education

Any of various types of education given in postsecondary institutions of learning and usually affording, at the end of a course of study, a named degree, diploma, or certificate of higher studies. Higher educational institutions include not only universities and colleges but also various professional schools that provide preparation in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. Higher education also includes teacher-training schools, junior colleges, and institutes of technology. The basic entrance requirement for most higher-educational institutions is the completion of secondary education, and the usual entrance age is about 18 years. -- Britannica

There are positives and negatives to both obtaining or ignoring higher education. It is honestly all a matter of opinion and personal interest on whether higher education is beneficial to the individual. But, it is always best to look into these matters yourself; we are here to help. Take a look at some of the information we have found on the subject below.

  • Roughly six-in-ten (62%) college graduates with two- or four-year degrees think their degree was very useful for helping them grow personally and intellectually
    • Roughly half think it was very useful for opening up job opportunities (53%) or for providing them with useful job-related skills and knowledge (49%)
  • Those with a postgraduate or professional degree are more likely to see college as a place for personal growth
    • All Adults: 35% Personal Growth, 50% Specific Skills
  • Most two-year and four-year college graduates think their experience was broadly useful
    • For opening doors to jobs: 53% useful vs 8% not at all useful
    • Developing specific skills to be used for the workplace: 49% useful vs 6% not useful
    • Helping grow personally and intellectually: 62% useful vs 3% not useful
  • Americans have mixed feelings about how well post-high school education prepares students for the workforce
    • Four-year degree: 16% very well, 51% somewhat well, 21% not too well, 8% not well at all
    • Two-year degree: 12% very well, 46% somewhat well, 25% not too well, 13% not at all
    • Professional, technical certificate: 26% very well, 52% somewhat well, 15% not too well, 5% not well at all
  • Pros of higher education
    • Higher wages on average
    • More career options
    • Opportunities to gain more credentials and earn more money
    • Alumni Networks
    • Personal growth
    • Higher likelihood of home ownership and being partnered (married/cohabitation)
    • Lower risk of becoming delinquent on debt obligations
  • Cons of higher education
    • High cost
    • Years of student loan debt
    • not necessary for some jobs
    • Options for alternatives (apprenticeships and associate degrees may provide similar benefits)
    • "Opportunity loss" from time in college instead of the field

Information gathered from Pew Research and Forbes.

  • First step: Explore
  • Second step: Talking
  • Third Step: Talk with an advisor
    • Talking with an academic advisor is very important when putting things in motion. 
      • They can help you with registration, program requirements, transfer planning, career planning, choosing a program of study, and financial aid
    • Advisors will also help if you experience academic difficulties by making referrals to academic support services
    • You can talk with an advisor via phone (844.642.2338 Calmar-ext. 1376 Peosta-ext. 2217) or stop into the Calmar or Peosta campuses
  • Fourth Step: "Find My Path" Semester
    • This is to help get some general college experience and standard skills needed that transfer into an array of NICC programs
      • These include classes like public speaking, math, and college experience
    • Some career development classes can also help get you started