Higher Education Still Matters

February 08, 2024

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A Degree of Flexibility – By Matt Georgi

You don’t need a college degree to interview or work at CVR. And in the hallways you’ll hear us talk about attitude versus aptitude. Learning on the job is as valued today as any part of the equation, but that doesn’t mean a college degree isn’t beneficial or doesn’t matter.

Succeeding in the workplace takes effort, an open mind, persistence, confidence, experience, knowledge and a little bit of luck. I believe the time someone spends at college pursuing a degree flexes some of those muscles. It’s an opportunity to build confidence without a disastrous failure. You can work through a group case study with a safety net. And you’ll experience real-world situations so you’re better prepared when you face them down the road.

As the workforce changes, the role education plays and how it can affect your life and lifestyle continue to evolve. According to a study earlier this year from Georgetown University, the average employee armed with a bachelor’s degree will earn $2.8 million over their lifetime, while the average earning power of someone without a degree is $1.6 million. But money isn’t everything…direction is.

The right college or job is what works for you. I knew I wanted to be in advertising. My daughter knew she wanted to be a nurse. It’s fortunate to have direction early on. Not everyone does. The key in any situation is being open to learning and taking what you learn at every level — from being a barista at Starbucks to a soccer referee — and applying those skills at the next place.

In my opinion, college opens horizons and thinking that are not necessarily fostered at a standard 9 to 5, whereas the experience you gain working may help you understand people dynamics or put food on the table without debt. You can win and learn in both situations.

There’s no right answer, but today there are more opportunities to succeed at every level and with every level of education. Employers are hungry for someone who can think on their feet. Make a difference. Works hard. And colleges and the workplace are offering more options than ever to help you make the most of your skills and your opportunities.

No matter what you’re doing and where you’re headed, the key is to continue learning and applying that knowledge. That’s what truly makes the difference and keeps you moving forward.

To learn more, Contact CVR.