It is the age old question. People have been asking if a college degree necessary for success since the times of Aristotle and Plato. The answer is no, but as always, there is an exception to this. Many people that do not go to college become very successful, but the truth of the matter is that they have to work much harder than their convocated counterparts.
It is important to note that this topic greatly simplifies the issue. Success is always defined by the individual. To say that something is necessary for success is incorrect, because one person’s definition of success may be to have a family and a full-time job, while another person’s definition may be to be the CEO of a multinational corporation. Realistically, if you want to tackle this issue from an objective standpoint, you would argue whether or not the time (and money) that a person devotes to obtaining a degree will be worthwhile in advancing that person’s career.
The type of degree obtained plays in important part in the success that a person will have in their career. Students that obtain specific, professional designations are almost always successful, and will have very little trouble finding employment. When was the last time you heard of an unemployed doctor, lawyer, pharmacist, engineer, or even social worker? Specialized degrees like these are harder to complete, but the pay-off is among the greatest available. Securing a professional job like these is impossible without a college degree. Realistically, it would even be hard to get a job as one of their assistants without some sort of post-secondary education.
A liberal arts degree may be harder to apply to a specific career, but it can still be helpful in contributing to an individual’s success. This degree does not offer any specific training that guarantees a job in a professional field, but it does teach a variety of skills that can be an asset to employability. A college degree shows that a person has developed the skills needed to be successful in almost any position. Skills and attributes such as communication skills, interpersonal relations, or document preparation are all essential to success in modern offices. If you look at human resource policies, a potential employee has to offer something that an organization will pay money for and a college degree is the best way to show that you offer these skills.
Again, there are infinite complexities to this argument. There are plenty of reasonable alternatives to college. Tech schools are a great way to gain skills that are invaluable to a career, so are specialized training courses. Most truly successful people devote themselves to continuous learning throughout their whole lives. In fact, many organizations ask employees to devote themselves to a learning plan that will help them develop throughout their career. In the end, it is very rare for someone to be paid a significant amount of money if they do not have anything valuable to offer.