Is a College Degree Necessary for Success?

College is often regarded as the gateway to a successful career. Not only does it provide students with a higher level of education, but it also offers a strong foundation for the future. As Reverend Edward A. Molly once said, “College is not a sign of a finished product but an indication a person is prepared for life.” Personally, I believe that a college degree is necessary for a life-changing experience. Attending college opens doors to new experiences, broadens one's perspective, and develops critical thinking skills. It not only molds students into better versions of themselves but also increases their chances of job employment and earning potential.

We live in a time where many professional fields require at least a bachelor's degree to pursue an ideal career. For instance, becoming a doctor, professor, lawyer, accountant, or pursuing any other professional field requires a strong knowledge base, critical thinking skills, and specialization. Obtaining a high degree of knowledge produces effective leadership in society, which ultimately results in a stronger nation. College provides a versatile experience and helps people develop communication, social, and technical skills. It also provides expertise in various professions, making it an essential step towards a successful life.

However, we shouldn't solely rely on a college degree to be successful in life. It is important to identify one's passion and purpose in life, and believe in oneself. Dedication and hard work are necessary ingredients for success. Some professions or skills may not necessarily require a college degree. For example, becoming a sportsman, carpenter, singer, dancer, actor, electrician, chef, or fitness worker, does not require a college degree. Many success stories exist of people who became successful without pursuing or completing a college degree, such as Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple, and Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. Regardless of one's educational background, if guidance is necessary, we should seek a mentor who can show them how to continue to grow and develop in their chosen field.

Today, one can access the internet and pursue formal education on any course through online platforms. This type of knowledge and certification can take us to the next level. Regardless of one's educational background, we should strive to learn as much as we can. There is no limit to the amount of knowledge that one can acquire. Despite some jobs requiring a college degree, there are plenty of jobs and careers that are obtainable without one. The way to get through is to have work experience like internships or entry-level jobs and build a resume of valuable hands-on education. One can even get a diploma or qualifications outside of college.

It is important not to compare oneself to others. It is easier said than done. We often create self-doubt when our friends or others are more successful. But one should not let their success discourage them. Lack of a college degree should not suppress any from reaching the highest possible success. As Oprah Winfrey once said, “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tremble are those who never mount the high wire.” It simply means that we should not be afraid of taking risks and learning new things from our mistakes. Every great success starts from little things. 

So, even though having a college degree is not a requirement for leading a successful life, I highly recommend it because it has its advantages. The most important lesson to learn in life is to always keep learning and strive to bring out the best in ourselves, no matter where we are on our journey

The Degree of Thought Column is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. The column explored contemporary social, cultural, political, and educational issues and challenges around us. However, the views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC-accredited, UCG-recognized Commerce and Arts college. Currently, the Degree of Thought Column is managed by the department of Mass Communication, and the editorial team are Dr Jenny Lalmuanpuii, KC Gabriela and Rinsit Sareo. For feedback or comments, please email: