Why Get a Bachelor of Arts Degree?
People often wonder what the point is of getting a Bachelor of Arts degree. After all, there are no obvious career paths out there for history or anthropology majors. You don’t just graduate with a degree in philosophy and immediately become a professional philosopher, unlike a trade program where you graduate from an engineering program and immediately become an engineer. Even though you might have doubts, a BA will help you in the job market and in other ways that you may never have thought about.
There are many jobs out there that require a university degree. I spent a year teaching in Seoul, South Korea, for example. Having a university degree was the only requirement to get an interview. My year in Seoul was one of the best experiences of my life and it led me to further teaching and travel opportunities. Other people are also able to find work in their area of interest right out of university; some psychology majors get work in labs, for example. Many other jobs don’t strictly require a university education, but like to see an applicant who has a degree. This is particularly important when there are many people competing for one position.
There are reasons employers looks for university graduates. A Bachelor of Arts degree can get you things that are impossible to measure, such as teaching you how to think critically. Getting through a university class isn’t about knowing all the right answers – it’s about figuring out how to think for yourself and express your ideas. It can be a lot of work, but it’s work that you’re doing to improve yourself and not just to get a diploma.
When you’re feeling tired and a deadline is coming up, writing an essay feels like a nuisance. But as you write you’re learning how to put together a solid argument. You’ll find that the more essays you write and the more advanced your courses get, the better you will become at expressing yourself. You can learn to analyze things in detail and get a clearer view of the big picture. These are skills that are useful and highly desirable to potential employers.
Studying in university also teaches you to manage your time well and to take responsibility. You and you alone are responsible for whether or not you go to class or do your assignments and how much effort you put into them. University helps to set you on track for things you want to do. You can take those four years to learn what you love. Some people fall in love with a particular course or area and go on to get a PhD. Other people don’t have such a clear path to their dreams, but they still gain a lot of experience and knowledge.
A university degree is a lot of work and if you think it’s not for you, that’s fine. If you want to go to a technical college and become an electrician, you should go for it. Just make sure you do what you like and you’ll find out where you want to be.