Why is it important to achieve a college degree, certificate or diploma? Generally speaking, what is the importance of having a college education? This is a question that I have been debating and fighting with myself for the past five years. Is it because with a college education a person can get a better job, earn more money and ensure himself of a better life?

Or is the whole concept of college a fraud and a scam to manipulate individuals in feeling inferior without it? In this paper, I am going to enlighten you of the pros and cons of having a valid college education and what it means to me. Senator John Kerry said in a 2004 presidential debate that "Our college students represent only 20 percent of our population, but they are 100 percent of our future. They are our greatest investment, and we must help them understand the importance of investing in their selves". Today a college education is something to be treasured. In both earning potential and learning potential, a college education is worth every dime and penny.

Just like any investment, a college education requires planning, saving, and perhaps some sacrifice. But it is an investment that will continue to pay you back for a lifetime. Individuals with a college education have better job opportunities, earn more money and develop skills and knowledge that can never be taken away. So in agreeing with Senator Kerry, making the investment of a college education is the greatest investment we will ever make.

By attending college, students guarantees themselves a better job that the average Joe. Because the world is changing rapidly, and many jobs rely on new technology, more jobs require education beyond high school. With a college education, an individual will have more jobs from which to choose. In addition to obtaining a better job, people who go to college usually earn more money than those who do not. College furnishes you with proper credentials and documents to land high-level jobs.

Figures from an A&E television program on 'The Working Class's how that in 2004 the average earnings were $23,895 for a high school graduate and $41,478 for individuals with a bachelor's degree. Getting a college education is simply a stepping stone in ensuring yourself with a good start in life. Some may agree that college students are open minded and knows exactly how to express themselves and their thoughts which is a benefit when comes to making important life decisions. Also, by being educated a person is more informed about the world around them, what this means is, the majority of young voters tends to be college students.

I believe that college graduates are also the ones whose children are inspired to earn a valid education. College graduates generally have better jobs, earn more money than their average peers which simply results in them enjoying a better quality of life. On the negative or less optimistic side, it seems to be universally accepted that college education is a good thing; however, thousands of colleges and millions of students spend vast amounts of time and money chasing some sort of degree, diploma or certificate. But what is the value of these qualifications?

Most college students (me included) gets brainwashed or sidetracked by administrators of education. They make it seems as though having a college education is the only way doors will open for students. Certificates, diplomas, and degrees are held up as a status symbol and the key to money, power and success. However, the truly powerful are not those with degrees, but people who stand back and look at what is really important in life. These people are found in every part of society. Take my present boss for instance, Carol Levine.

Carol never attended college; she actually was a high school drop out who eventually went on to receiving her GED. Today she is the general manager for a fortune 500 company which is also one of Florida's number one title insurance corporations. Not only my boss has had such luck, many brilliant people in history did not have college educations. Take Einstein for instance, he was a weak math student. Even Bill Gates never completed college, or what about Edison who never even went to school.

Similarly, many of the world's political leaders do not have master's degrees or doctorates, mostly prime ministers in the Caribbean and in Europe and even some of our very own republican and democratic members in our US House of Representative. Students in college are being sold an illusion. They are made to believe that self-understanding and society approval will only come with the achievement of a piece of paper. Education is now something that can be purchased.

Like a powerful new car or a newly built house, a college degree has become a luxury that everyone wants. But when everybody has something, that thing becomes worthless. Education is becoming devalued as more people have degrees. It takes much higher qualifications to get a job. Once upon a time a degree-holder was respected and listened to. That's no more, now he or she is just another job-seeker or employee in this madness we call society.

One outcome of the sprint towards degrees is that knowledge becomes less important. Influence is a major trait in getting a job or a promotion when everyone has a qualification. A further point is that people lose respect for themselves. Since everybody has a degree, college graduates starts to feel that what they have is almost worthless. More seriously, the pressure to have degrees results in a drop in quality. When thousands of people study in a college, the instructors cannot possibly maintain standards.

They can't grade every assignment or focus on every student. Furthermore, in addition to computer technology, do we really need to take professional development, math, science, art and craft in order to be a computer technician? Or do we take these classes because college is the type of business designed to make believe in order to be successful? There are many negative aspects to the value of a college education, most of the time it's a feeling of cheat and unfairness.

If we want to maintain the value of education, we need to examine the importance we put on degrees both as administrator and as students. As for the main question: "Does Kevin Koon-Koon agree with the value of a college education?" People have several arguments against the need for degrees. They say that having so many college graduates devalues a degree, causing people to lose respect for college graduates. It is also claimed that education has become a rat race. Graduates have to compete for jobs even after years of studying.

Another con is that studying for such a long time leads to learners becoming inflexible. They know a lot about one narrow subject, but are unable to apply their skills. Employers prefer more flexible and adaptable workers. Even in this class, I've learned we must be able to think outside the box and be open-minded with our surroundings.

However, I feel strongly that having more qualifications and obtaining a college education is a positive development. In the past education was only for the rich and powerful. Now it is available to everyone, this will have many advantages for our country, our people, and even our world. I definitely believe that it is impossible to be overeducated. The more people are educated, the better the world will be, because people will be able to discuss and exchange ideas.

Another pro is that people with degrees have many more opportunities. They can take a wider variety of jobs and do what they enjoy doing, instead of being forced to take a job they dislike. Finally, although there are undoubtedly some problems with college as a business, I feel strongly that each and every individual can excel and gain from having a college education. A college education is the most valuable tool we can use; it's a foundation that will carry anyone through a successful life.

Remember Senator Kerry's words on making a college investment your most important investment. We may only be 20 percent of the population today, but what we do and the choices we make are going to determine the future. And to me, a college education is a sound investment. An investment that with great dedication and determination will reap the very best rewards!