Using College as a Bridge to Your Career

The chasm between college and the workforce is a mighty big one. It’s something that our education system has failed to correct and many students arrive at this gap totally unaware. A bridge must be built to get to the other side, which may surprise many since no one had been told through grade school this was even necessary.

Much of what I say here may seem to contradict what I’ve said in the past, but on the contrary, it supports most of it; in fact, it dispels the idea that I’m against going to college, because I’m really not. I see college as a risk, not something that should be avoided.

Get In With the Crowd

This is something that you’ll want to start immediately, even before college. If you ever want a chance in making it into your career, you need to know people.  Get involved organizations that relate to your career. Create a LinkedIn account and continually update your portfolio and expand your connections. There will likely be clubs or workshops on your campus that may help with growing in your desired profession and giving you the chance of meeting new people. The bigger your circle, the more opportunities there are in getting established in your career

Push Past What You Learn in College

Hiring entry level employees is always difficult for employers because these people lack experience. Internships are a great way to gain this experience, but sometimes it may take more than that. Research more of what’s required of you in your career and work hard at it. Get a job. This can be done through the career services center at your campus. Find something that’s loosely related to your career and work diligently at it. Then at the same time, you’ll be able to build on many of the soft skills that employers will expect out of you.

Know the Difference Between Good and Bad Debt

This is a controversial matter that I generally tend to avoid. Despite what I’ve said in the past there is such a thing called “good” debt. Good debt is debt that you know you can pay off and will further increase your productivity (your salary in this case). Pulling loans to pay off your college expenses poses a great risk since there’s little guarantee you’ll be able to pay it off. Going into college with a career plan is smart, so debt in this case may be good since you’re prepared and you know there’s potential profit in it.

Not all degrees are equal though. As expensive as a four-year degree is nowadays, the costs end up outweighing the return on your investment (how much money you make back). Pulling loans in this case would be a bad decision, and if you don’t follow through with it–like deciding to change majors or drop out altogether–it only makes a bad decision even worse.

College is an investment, and like any investment, there comes a risk. College is a good investment in the regard that you’re setting yourself up for a higher pay and a greater opportunity to do what you aspire to do. By making more contacts and pushing past what you’ve already being taught in college, you’re setting yourself up for success.

But there again, there’s the risk. In most cases, pulling loans becomes unavoidable. That’s why it’s important to know beforehand if that degree you wish to pursue is right for you. You have to be prepared for the costs and strive to turn those expenses into something more It’s like relationship: if you can commit it to marriage, then put a ring on it. If not, then don’t get in bed with it, because it will only cause problems in the future.