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Higher education is widely considered to be a prerequisite of successful life and career. Indeed, studying for and earning a degree provides numerous opportunities. While exploring interesting subjects in detail, students build skills that will improve their performance at work. Graduates are also eligible for some jobs and benefits that are not accessible to people without a degree, and thus higher education provides them with more flexibility in terms of career. The present paper will reflect on the skills I have developed and improved as part of the course and explain the benefits of higher education for citizens.
Personally, I have always perceived higher education to be a crucial part of a person’s life. A college degree is essential for me to achieve my career goals, and thus I tried to gain the most from my time in college. As a result, I have developed a number of skills that will assist me in building a successful career. In this paper, I will reflect on the benefits provided by higher education, including skills and opportunities available to students and graduates.
Developing and Improving Skills
The first skill that I have developed through the course is teamwork. Group projects and assignments were particularly helpful to me in improving this skill since they required me to actively participate in the process and cooperate with other group members. Teamwork is an important skill that will have a positive impact on my future life and career. As I intend to work in business settings, teamwork will help me to connect with other employees and become an integral part of the organization faster.
Teamwork skills will also have a significant influence on my performance. As explained by Salas et al. (2014), more and more organizations rely on teams to achieve their goals, and teamwork training can thus improve both individual and organizational performance. For managers, teamwork is of great importance since it enables them to form successful teams and to establish positive relationships with employees.
Communication is also a skill that I have managed to improve during this course. Communication is a broad concept that includes connecting with other individuals, expressing oneself clearly and appropriately, and responding to other people’s feelings and emotions. Participating in group assignments and class discussions has helped me to gain a deeper understanding of communication and practice this skill to improve my competency in the area. Communication is of critical importance to individuals working in all business settings. For self-employed persons, communication can assist in establishing and maintaining relationships with clients, suppliers, and partners.
For those working in organizational settings, communication aids in improving working climate and relations, thus leading to increased productivity. Since I intend to work in a managerial position in the future, communication will also help me to understand the needs and motivations of employees and tailor my management style appropriately to achieve the best outcomes. Thus, communication skills will make me more effective both as a regular employee and as a manager.
The assignments completed as part of the course have also assisted me in developing my research and writing skills, and both of these will be important in my future job. Being able to find high-quality resources on a particular topic will improve my effectiveness as a manager by allowing me to find efficient strategies to boost morale, establish a corporate culture, and increase the productivity of the workforce. For instance, if my organization is experiencing high turnover, I could use my research skills to find a cost-effective solution proposed by scholars. Writing skills are critical to effective communication with employees, suppliers, partners, and the public. If I enter a leadership job in the future, excellent writing skills will also help me to establish a good reputation in the company.
Incidentally, the course program also enabled me to enhance my leadership skills and abilities. On the one hand, the course has provided me with the knowledge necessary to be a good leader. For example, I have learned a lot about group dynamics, motivation, and leadership theory. This knowledge will assist me in establishing my position as a leader and solving organizational issues affecting human resources and productivity, including job dissatisfaction, low work ethics, and poor motivation. In particular, I found the discussion of transformational leadership theory to be useful, since it improves employee motivation, promotes innovation, and helps businesses to adapt to changes in the external environment (McCleskey, 2014).
Using this leadership style in my work will assist me in improving organizational outcomes and achieving career goals. On the other hand, the course also enabled me to practice leadership by taking initiative in group projects and discussion. Task delegation, conflict resolution, and collaboration are all examples of leadership skills that I have improved during such activities. Leadership skills will thus be useful in my future career, as they will enable me to be a successful member of an organization.
Finally, time-management is a useful skill that I have improved during the course. This skill is essential to managing a variety of tasks and completing them on time. As a result, this skill will make me a productive employee regardless of my position in an organization. Moreover, time-management will help me to find a balance between my career and personal life, which is crucial in the contemporary world. Poor work-life balance can result in life dissatisfaction, anxiety, and depression, which is why time management can have a significant influence on one’s life (Haar, Russo, Sune, & Ollier-Malaterre, 2014). I intend to use time-management skills in the future to manage assignments successfully while avoiding burnout.
Opportunities Provided by Higher Education
Higher education provides a number of opportunities to citizens in terms of future life and career. First and foremost, people who have a college degree have more flexibility in terms of career. While those who only have school-level education can work in some creative professions or become self-employed, they are mostly confined to low-paid jobs that do not require specific skills or knowledge. People who have a degree, on the other hand, can pursue any career they want and can compete for higher positions in organizations (Torpey, 2018). Many professional fields, such as accounting, psychology, medicine, economics, and education, are not accessible to people who do not have a higher education degree. As a result, higher education gives each person the freedom to choose a career path.
Secondly, higher education provides an opportunity to earn more and receive additional benefits that are not available to low-level workers or self-employed persons. According to an article by Abel and Deitz (2014), “despite entering the labor force at a later age, workers with a bachelor’s degree on average earn well over $1 million more than high school graduates during their working lives, while those with an associate’s degree earn about $325,000 more” (p. 4). In the modern world, higher income is important as it leads to improved living conditions and allows people to fulfil their needs and wishes. Besides material gains, jobs available to graduates provide other benefits, including health insurance, training, and better retirement conditions.
Thirdly, higher education provides an opportunity to learn and develop skills that will be useful in future life and career. For instance, many higher education programs have a positive impact on students’ soft skills, such as communication and collaboration (Brown, 2018). These skills are equally useful to managers, service employees, and team members, and thus every person would benefit from this opportunity.
As evident from the previous section, I have gained and improved various skills as part of my academic career, which will allow me to succeed in future life and work. Higher education has also given me the opportunity to meet new people and form lasting friendships with them. Developing relationships with fellow students is a vital part of college life, and I am grateful for this experience. Overall, I would encourage others to follow in my footsteps and pursue higher education because it would give them the opportunity to live a more fulfilling life, build a great career, and meet many amazing people.
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For me, higher education was a necessary stepping stone to a successful life. Not only did it provide me with opportunities to enter a high-paying career, but the course also enabled me to learn new skills that would help me to be a capable worker in any position. While studying for my degree, I also met many interesting people, some of whom became my close friends. Although higher education is rather expensive, I would recommend it to all people who want to have economic security and career flexibility. After finishing my degree, I intend to maintain a lifelong learning attitude by staying curious about various subjects and taking on opportunities for continued education and training. This will help me to develop my professional knowledge and skills even further, thus also contributing to my career success.
Abel, J. R., & Deitz, R. (2014). Do the benefits of college still outweigh the costs? Current Issues in Economics & Finance, 20(3), 1–12.
Brown, L. S. (2018). Soft skill development in the higher education curriculum: A case study. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 12(4), 7–29.
Haar, J. M., Russo, M., Suñe, A., & Ollier-Malaterre, A. (2014). Outcomes of work-life balance on job satisfaction, life satisfaction and mental health: A study across seven cultures. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 85(3), 361-373.
McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and leadership development. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), 117-130.
Salas, E., Shuffler, M. L., Thayer, A. L., Bedwell, W. L., & Lazzara, E. H. (2015). Understanding and improving teamwork in organizations: A scientifically based practical guide. Human Resource Management, 54(4), 599-622.
Torpey, E. (2018). Employment outlook for graduate-level occupations. Web.