I have often pondered throughout my life the “what if’s” of education. What if I don’t finish college and what if I don’t take personal responsibility for furthering my education? My answer being, “Nah, my work ethic and hands on experience will get me to where I need to be. ” I’ve later come to realize that for me, that answer isn’t good enough. Getting my Bachelor’s degree will show my responsibility to future employers. It will allow me to provide for my family better financially as well as being a good role model for my kids to look up too.
Years ago as a high school student prepping for college, I knew responsibility was important. However, to me sports were more important. I needed college to move forward in my baseball career, not realizing a back-up plan should have been set as well. I proudly finished from a two year junior college, earning myself an Associate’s degree. For me that seemed to be enough. It’s some college, and it’s more than most of those I knew. At the age of twenty and a fresh college graduate, I still had no idea what I was going to do now.
Responsibility was not something I ever factored into how to shape my life after college. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when she said, “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. ” After college I was able to land pretty decent jobs with my background in manual labor and eagerness to learn new challenges, but was never quite able to get to that next level, to me, the level of success.
Fast forwarding quite a few years into my adulthood, it finally hit me just how important continuing my education is. It is one thing to see or read about successful people and how they got to where they are without an education, but for some reason I’m led to believe they knew someone, THE someone to get their foot in the door of success. I grew very tiresome waiting for that someone to come into my life, so finally I decided that someone should be me. I knew it was time to take responsibility of my future.
The career path I finally decided to focus on gave me intuition that it was time to gain success through my education; to finally take responsibility seriously and better my life. I lost a great job two years ago; one that I thought for sure was my door to success. I worked the ladder as most do with the amount of education I had, and it finally paid off! I was in the corporate office making things happen, securing my future with the company and finally providing a stable income for my family. It was a sudden turn of events that left me jobless.
That was a huge blow to my self-esteem. I knew I had to take responsibility of what was happening and, for lack of better terminology, step up to the plate and fix things for my family. After searching job after job for over a year, I came to the conclusion that my lack of a bachelor’s degree was hindering my chances of finding another job that compared to the one I lost. I have many, many years of experience in my trade, in fact I’m an expert at what I do, but in this economy, that didn’t seem to matter. I still had to start at the bottom and prove myself again.
This just didn’t settle well with me. I dedicated seven years to a company that took nearly six years to recognize my ability and I just didn’t have it in me to do that again. After interviewing with countless professionals, I was starting to hear a pattern, “We are looking for someone with a four year degree. ” Through my own journey, I know now how important education is to be successful. How a four year degree has a greater chance to provide you with stable employment. I know furthering my education is the only key to opening my door to success.
I have noticed that most employers prefer any given bachelor’s degree primarily over experience. For example, when the man with the bachelor’s degree in business administration with no home theater experience applied for the Home Theater Project Manager position, he got the offer over me with no bachelor’s but ten years of home theater installation experience. I knew right then that education today overrules experience. To employers, continuing your education means perseverance, integrity and personal responsibility.
I know my experience can also show those things, but in the end, making the decision to further my education shows an employer that I have placed goals for myself. That I am putting in all the effort to show my dedication to not only the job I’ll do, but to myself and the company. Furthering my education proves leadership and responsibility to me. It proves I have the “know how” to go along with the skills. I know that through determination, responsibility and completion of my education, I will achieve a higher paying salary. According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau and Statistics, those with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher verage over 100,000 more people employed and having a weekly salary of $1,170 compared to $648 a week for those with just a high school education (BLS, 2012). Through my own experience, finally landing that corporate job, although it was a comfortable income, it would have been a lot more had I earned my Bachelor’s Degree. There are many situations, in many companies where the person next to you doing the same job and has the same title is making twice the salary you are due to the simple, yet life altering choice to further their education.
For me, I choose to leave a legacy to my children. I choose for them to see me succeed in life and to teach them how to be responsible. Being a big sports family, I will not allow my kids to grow up and idolize athletes like Reggie Bush, a running back from University of Southern California who cheated and took money from boosters. He was never held responsible for his actions (Reiss, 2010). I want them to see what responsibility can do for someone by doing things the right way.
One is to achieve a higher education because it will not only prove to my children that personal responsibility and education matter to be successful, but it will prove to me that I am capable of achieving my own success. That I made the choice to have a life I can be proud of. It is now time to show my personal responsibility and achieve my Degree in Information Technology. The path has been laid out for me to follow for my success. With the same determination and hard work I have poured into my work experience, I know I will be successful in attaining my degree and show future employers I am the one they can rely on.
US Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics (2012). HOUSEHOLD DATA Table A-4. Employment status of the civilian population 25 years and over by educational attainment Retrieved from http://www. bls. gov/news. release/empsit. t04. htm Roosevelt, E, Quote Retrieved from http://www. goodreads. com/quotes/tag/personal-responsibility Reiss, S. (2010). The Everything College Survival Book, 3rd Edition Retrieved from http://www. psychologytoday. com/blog/who-we-are/201006/whatever-happened-personal-responsibility
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