Although it’s not a myth that faith in higher education is on the decline, considering that nowadays, plenty of self-made billionaires are once college dropouts, there are still some myths about higher education worth debunking.
So, what are myths about higher education you shouldn’t trust because they are…well, myths?
The industries and working environment are constantly changing. The rapid growth of new technologies required workers to stay current with the latest developments and keep acquiring new skills to keep up.
Therefore, continuing education is one of the best ways for professionals to survive and stay ahead in their industries. Moreover, certain professions also require continuing education to comply with laws, remain licensed or newly certified, to continue developing the skills necessary for the fast-changing environments.
But there are certain myths holding us back from continuing our education and upgrading ourselves and our skills, and most of them are not reflective of the experience of the vast majority of college graduates and young professionals.
Below are some of the myths about higher education we need to bust to help us all have a better understanding of why a college degree is still worthy of pursuit.
1. University Education is Expensive
Although this has a ring of truth in it, it doesn’t mean that all universities are expensive. You have plenty of options available for you. In many countries, public universities are affordable, even almost free.
For example, most public universities in European countries are affordable. If the college tuition fee is expensive in your country, try to look for opportunities in other countries and make a comparison on the total cost you need to spend on your studies (the tuition fees, living costs, and other expenses).
If you’ve been wanting to continue your education but worry about not having enough money, do your homework and research…research…research!!! Find out what your goals are, look for a major that will be suitable for you, and which universities offer them.
Is there any similar program in a cheaper country or in more affordable colleges? Are they worth considering? What is the catch for being able to pay less? does this mean that you have to learn another language since the university is in another country?
Or do you need to compromise with the quality since the college is small and relatively unknown?
Once you consider those options, most likely you’ll see some of the options viable for you and find a good and affordable university for you to continue your education.
2. College is Not Worth the Money
A New York Fed study suggests that a college degree still offers a solid financial return, even with rising tuition costs.
The study also found that the average worker with a college degree earns about $33,000 more than the average high school graduate, and the rate of return on a degree has dropped a bit in recent years, but still remains very high. It shows that higher education leads to better jobs
It also shows the main benefits of higher education, while the rising cost of college is quite troubling, for some people, earning a college degree is still worth it and the benefit still outweighs the cost.
Thus, you need to be strategic about your back-to-school preparation. Think about the reasons why you want to continue your education in the first place (check out my free guide here to help you out). What are the goals you wish to achieve from returning to education?
When you weigh in everything; the pros and cons, the sacrifices you’ll have to make, the costs, and so on, versus the benefits you’ll gain from the experience of going back to school, such as the new degree, networks, knowledge, and skills set, in the end, you can see that most likely, the benefit will outweigh the cost.
3. The Degree Will be Worthless
One of the reasons why people thought they have worthless degrees is because they didn’t prepare themselves well before choosing their college and major. They didn’t take some time to identify themselves, their interest, goals, capabilities, as well as future job prospects.
As a result, they are unhappy with their job because it was never something they’ve wanted to do or have difficulty thriving at their work because they didn’t have the matching skill sets required to do the job well, or even have difficulty finding a job at all.
The degree feels worthless because it didn’t bring them happiness and bring them closer to their goals. But, if you prepare yourself well from the beginning, later, it will give you a degree that will open many doors and opportunities for you.
4. Study Abroad is Better and More Prestigious
Although in many cases studying abroad will bring more prestige and provide you with unique selling propositions (USP) and therefore, will lead to better career opportunities, those are not always the case.
So, if you’ve been wanting to continue your education, but you’ve been put on a pedestal for quite some time because you thought you need to do it abroad to make a real impact or changes in your career, but don’t have enough funding, then don’t.
Start working now towards continuing your education because you don’t need to do it abroad to leverage your value in front of your future employer. When it comes to searching for a college to attend, usually we look for their ranking or the ranking of the subject you are interested in this link.
Thus, you might find out that there are actually plenty of universities abroad that have a lower ranking than the ones in your country.
So even if you still want to continue your study abroad, make sure you choose one that has a good rank in terms of the university itself and in your chosen subjects.
Plus, before you make the decision to study abroad, you need to be sure that the job prospects after graduation are better there than in your own country. Otherwise, continuing your education in your own country could still be better for you.
As long as you have what it takes to do the job, the prestige of having an overseas education is just an additional value.
5. Expensive Tuition Fees Equal Better Qualities.
This must be one of the biggest myths about higher education. In fact, perhaps in many aspects of our lives. Although good quality items or services require a higher price tag, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the higher the sticker price, the better the quality will be.
As the competition for students has risen among colleges and universities, some amenities like climbing walls, gyms, even lazy rivers, and other amenities are now found on some college and university campuses in the US as a means to make their schools more attractive to prospective students.
But you won’t find those kinds of facilities in universities in Europe and Asia, thus, most of the colleges are more affordable since they don’t offer over-the-top facilities, but still offer good quality education.
So, when doing campus research, you need to list what facilities and amenities they offered matter the most to you and record them in this done-for-you workbook, where you could just tick on the list and write down your notes.
Therefore, you can at least see whether or not the state-of-the-art facilities justified their hefty price tag. More importantly, by listing your must-have campus facilities, you will also be able to see which universities offer everything you need and compare the price tag.
In the end, you’ll find one that offers facilities and amenities suitable for your needs (because most likely you don’t need a fancy gym or an extravagant climbing wall since jogging around the campus is enough for you anyway, for example), could help you reach your goals upon graduation, and friendlier to your wallet.
6. Not Much Funding Available
When we don’t have enough money to finance our education, we start thinking is higher education really necessary? Perhaps it will be better if we work and makes money instead.
Although the statement is true, education could elevate your income (as shown by the study mentioned above). Thus, if you think you should go back to school to increase your value in front of your employer, then it’s worth the shot.
If you are worried about financing your study, you’ll be happy to hear that the vast majority of students who attend college do not pay the high sticker price, thanks to scholarships, federal or government financial aid, and institutional aid.
You could find the source of financial aid for your study on the Internet. Go to Pinterest and Google and type in scholarships on the search box, you could see dozens of information about scholarships you could apply to.
Other alternatives are to find financial aid provided by your government and see if there are any that you are eligible to apply for.
You could also ask your office/ your employer or a bank if they could give you a loan, or you could also apply for a student loan, should your country’s education system provide that possibility.
So, no funding available is a myth when it comes to continuing our education because clearly there are plenty of options available for you to explore, even as an adult student/ student mom and dad, since plenty of them didn’t put on age restrictions in their requirements.
7. You Don’t Have What It Takes
In my opinion, this is the biggest myth about higher education that needs to be debunked. Especially when it comes to adult students going back to school as non-traditional students.
Contrary to popular belief, being a student at mature age does have plenty of advantages for themselves and their younger classmates.
Unfortunately, many people didn’t realize that and let their fears and worries get the worse of them, thinking that they are too old to go to school and that they don’t have what it takes to actually pull things through.
I went back to school when I was 33, and a mom of a (then) preschooler. On top of that, I have also pursued it abroad, making me not only an adult student but also a student mom and an international student.
I was living proof that it was doable. That we could do whatever we wanted to do, as long as we were willing to work hard for it. And I knew for sure I’m not alone. There is plenty of adult student, student moms and dads out there pursuing their dream of continuing their education, some even doing it abroad.
When I came to the class, being 33, I thought I was going to be the oldest person there and the only one who’s married and has a child. Boy was I wrong.
There were 3 other people who were also in their thirties, with 2 of them also married and had children (and…..we were all international students).
In a class of 32 people, the four of us, adult students in our thirties coming from four different corners of the globe, made up a whopping 12,5 percent of the entire class.
You might have other things that make you doubt yourself. Please don’t. Start to believe in yourself and work your way to finally get the higher education you’ve always wanted to pursue and give yourself the kind of career and life you deserve.
Over to You…
Unfortunately, there are some myths about higher education that keeps us from getting higher education, such as university education is expensive and not worth the money, since the degree will be worthless anyway, especially if you don’t do it abroad and bring home a “more prestigious” degree.
We also believe that the more expensive the tuition fees, the better quality the college will be. Therefore, since you can’t afford it and no funding is available anyway, you won’t be bothered to apply and most importantly, it feels like you don’t have what it takes to be returning to education and become a non-traditional adult student/ student mom and dad.
But now we know that those myths are just myths, that returning to education as a non-traditional adult student/ student mom and dad is something achievable. So, if this is something you’ve always wanted to do, what are you waiting for? Start researching and enroll.
That’s it for now, thanks so much for reading. Let me know what’s your opinion on this. Does any of those myths mentioned has been holding you back and made you keep postponing your plan of going back to school? Do you have anything to comment on or add? Leave them down below, I’d be happy to chat with you…
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