Will receiving a college degree improve your career opportunities? I believe that receiving a college degree will improve my career opportunities. During a time when searching for employment, I have realized that a lot of the company’s requirements are at least having an associate or even a bachelor’s degree. These requirements are needed in order to apply for the desired position. There are different types of degrees which can be earned by a college student. Just to mention a few: Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s Degree. In my research, I could find articles that supported, and others that opposed my point of view. My research results are listed below.
The data in the article “Skills Match” revealed that higher education is required for a better career. In the course of ten years, nearly one-third of vacancies will demand a higher education level (Carnevale & Smith, 2012). According to Carnevale and Smith (2012), “Roughly 69 percent of those vacancies – about 1.5 million – consist of jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree” (p. 22).
Rosenbaum, Cepa, and Rosenbaum (2013) stated the following: Certificates and associate degrees provide significant gains in job rewards over high school diplomas. For students who wish to escape dead-end unskilled jobs, these credentials often lead to better jobs in one or two years, and they allow students to accumulate credits towards bachelor’s degrees. (p. 50) On the other hand, Carnevale and Smith (2010) oppose that higher education is a better chance for a career. “Yet, a higher level of education also is not the answer to greater opportunity” (Carnevale & Smith, 2010, p. n.a.). Carnevale and Smith (2010) added, “In 2018, there will be more jobs in Maine whose highest level of education is high school than jobs for holder of bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees combined.”
I used critical thinking by first analyzing the question asked, and looking for the problem within it. My finding showed the problem is the career opportunity I can have with or without a college degree. Then, I looked at different alternatives that supported or opposed the problem and their advantages, as well as disadvantages. Afterward, I brainstormed to see what knowledge I had regarding the topic. But since this is just my point of view, I needed to research and find reliable, credible, and valid sources. The University of Phoenix library was of significant help. I typed in the search engine “The value of the college degree” as well as “College degree needed” and searched for peer-reviewed articles. My solution to the above problem is supported by the sources I chose, which represent different viewpoints.
I can use critical thinking on a daily basis whether it is while reading my newspaper, listening to the news or even having a conversation about different topics with others. I cannot believe everything I hear or read. Specific, relevant, and logic questions will be asked, as well as research made on the different topics before coming to a decision. I have to stay neutral and unbiased, listen carefully and also consider other’s perspectives. Not only can I apply critical thinking to decision-making and research, but also to solve problems that occur in my everyday life. Using the five-step method is a fantastic tool which is very helpful. This method taught me first to identify the problem. Next, I need to look at different alternatives, their advantages, and disadvantages, and come up with the best option as a solution to a particular problem. I used this method before without realizing it, but this course has extended my understanding of the five-step problem-solving approach.
I can use the following steps to ensure the usage of critical thinking in the future:
1. Asking specific, relevant and useful questions,
2. Consider other’s viewpoints, not just my own,
3. Be open-minded to other options,
4. Overcome personal barriers by analyzing, evaluating, and find a solution to control them,
5. Choose freely and accept the responsibility despite the outcome,
6. Make precise and accurate decisions,
7. Continue to solve problems with the five-step method,
8. Research for credible, reliable sources that proof the evidence provided,
9. But most importantly rethink my thinking and practice critical thinking daily.
Carnevale, A. P., & Smith, N. (2010, September). More than 2 million job vacancies forecast for NE by 2018 … but do our workers have what it takes to fill them? New England Journal of Higher Education. Academic Search Complete. Carnevale, A., & Smith, N. (2012, December). Skills match. Community College Journal, 83(3), 20-25. ProQuest Central. Rosenbaum, J., Cepa, K., & Rosenbaum, J. (2013, Winter). Beyond the one-size-fits-all college degree. Contexts, 12(1), 48-52. doi:10.1177/1536504213476248