OPINION | College is still a necessity, despite what Elon Musk says

A group of friends walks by the Holland building after a long study session at the library. Not attending college prepares you to enter the real world and find your profession right out of high school, yet there are several advantages to attending college, such as establishing lifelong friends. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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We’ve all seen the TikToks of millionaires giving their opinion on college being a waste of time. These short clips are everywhere on social media.

Many young adults have the mindset that college is a waste of time and money. They fall into the narrative being told to them by millionaires who have dropped out of college, that college is simply unnecessary. However, despite what millionaires are saying, college is still a necessity in today’s world.

Not all college dropouts make millions of dollars. In fact, a report from the National Center for Education Statistics stated that individuals with college degrees have better employment opportunities and greater annual earnings than those with just a high school diploma. 

When millionaires and billionaires like Elon Musk say that college is essentially a waste of time, it is crucial to realize that Musk is just one man. He is one college dropout who happened to become a billionaire. That doesn’t happen to everyone who doesn’t go to college. 

“Colleges are basically for fun and to prove you can do your chores,” Musk said in an interview with M3 Motivation. “But, they are not for learning.”

While Musk hit a lucky streak with his life, for many other individuals, college is crucial in paving a path out of poverty and bettering their lives for themselves and future generations. That is something young adults should realize when considering whether they want to attend college.

When Googling “famous college dropouts,” the majority of results were men. In fact, colleges around the United States used to have a majority of male students.

However, at the University of Vermont, this year’s freshman class is 62% female. At Utah Tech for the 2021-2022 school year, women made up 58% while the percentage for men was 42%.

Nationwide, women make up nearly 60% of college undergraduates. In 1972, when Title IX was passed to ensure improved gender equality on campuses, men made up nearly 60% of college undergrads.

Those percentages have switched and more women are going to college, despite millionaires saying college is unnecessary. Women are less susceptible and take more time to convince, which means they don’t believe when a millionaire says college is a waste of time. Most women know better than that. 

Women know they have always had to fight for gender equality, so to have the same chances as men for jobs, they need degrees.

Higher education has always been valued in my family because I am a first-generation student. My parents knew how important it was for me at a young age to know the importance of higher education.

As long as I can remember, even in my elementary school days, I knew I was going to go to college. There was no doubt or question in my mind. I knew that for my life to have a bright future, I would need to have a college education. 

It’s important to me because I’ve seen my parents overworked at their jobs while doing the same job as people with college degrees and still getting paid less, despite doing the exact same job. 

Having a college degree is going to provide wider job opportunities for me and create higher-paying job options.

Not only is college important for my future, but I enjoy the moments I’m having now at Utah Tech. I know that if I was home in northern Utah working a job and not furthering my education, I would not be progressing. I would be stuck in my ways and would still be a shy kid who just sticks to herself.

Going to Utah Tech for nearly the past two years has taught me how to expand socially. I’ve always been a studious person, but I’ve learned how to build friendships and have met some of my favorite people at this school. 

My main purpose in going to college is to have a higher education and more opportunities in life, but while I’m here achieving that, I’ve never enjoyed going to school as much as I have here. So no, Elon Musk, college is not just for fun and doing chores. It is for learning and growing as an individual. 

Expecting to be a millionaire and disregarding college is not a good plan. If you truly want a bright future, college is your path to success.