(Last updated on: 06/04/2020)
Are you thinking of doing a degree? Did you know that doing a degree might you a better person?
Why doing a degree might make you a better person
Doing a degree has benefits that reach far beyond enhancing your job prospects. In this post I will explain to you why doing a degree might make you a better person. It doesn’t necessarily matter what subject you choose to study, whether its areas that I specialise in, such as tourism management or aviation management, or something completely different. It’s the wider benefits relating to the community, the environment, your ability to be objective and your analytical skills that contribute to making you a better person.
Doing a degree might make you a better person within your community. This is because of two main aspects:
1- Life experience at university
2- Development of your ability to view the world objectively and analytically
Doing a degree introduces young people to a whole new world. A world of independence, a world of mixed cultures and communities, a world of reflection and analysis. Students from all over the country and from further afield are brought together for a common purpose-education.
When I started university I made friends with people that I would never have acquainted myself in my former pre-student life. I came to realise that the clothes that I had thought looked good in my home town (and were indeed ‘the fashion’ there), were not worn by people from elsewhere in the country. Needless to say I changed the way I dressed pretty quickly. I learnt how Northerners call ‘dinner’ ‘tea’ and that people outside of South London actually raise their arms when dancing (don’t ask).
The point I am trying to make is that I developed a sense of and understanding of community that reached far beyond my home town. I began to tolerate or empathise with people who were different from me and to understand why this might be the case. Of course, I have moved on a long way since aged 18, but university remains an integral part of my personal and social development.
Doing a degree might make you a better person in terms of the environment. It is said (although I’m not sure exactly by whom) that those with a degree are less likely to drop litter and more likely to turn lights off than those people without a degree. This is not to say that people without a degree don’t care about the environment, but they are typically less aware of the impacts of their actions on the wider community than their graduate counterparts.
Graduates may not have studies the environment as part of their degree, but they have developed a wider sense of community. They are more likely to be aware of and to consider the person who lost their lives due to floods in Pakistan or the child working in the sweatshop in China. They are more likely to piece together pieces of a large puzzles and to understand where their place in relation to all of the pieces is.
When undertaking academic work you are encouraged to think about the ‘bigger picture’. You will look at the various literature sources in that area. You will question the credibility of the source is. You will look at both sides of an argument.
I am an avid listen of LBC on my way to work in the morning and I can tell straight away when a caller hasn’t been to university because they struggle to develop a logical argument. If you have written an academic essay or undertaken a research project, you will know how to be objective. You will understand that you opinion is not everything.
A person with academic qualifications is far more likely to weigh up both sides of an argument before coming to their own conclusion. They are more likely to want to investigate why something is the way it is or how something has happened. People who have done a degree are less likely to take something at face-value and are more likely to undertake deeper research or investigation into the area.
Here is an example of how this might work in practice-
A graduate is more likely to compare products effectively in the supermarket- Just because one product is cheaper than another, does not mean that it is better value. For example a 100g bar of chocolate might cost £1, yet a bag of chocolate buttons of the exact same brand of chocolate, containing 50g might also cost £1. A graduate is more likely to dig into these sorts of details to decipher the best value, because they have been taught to do this for their studies.
Doing a degree might make you a better person because you are better situated to analyse a given situation. You are better able to link your knowledge and experience to a given context. For example, in my post ‘Why Unpaid Business is Better than No Business: The Case of the Egyptian Boatman’ I demonstrate how I linked my knowledge of basic economic and politics to the tourism industry. Another example can be seen in my post ‘The Jungle Book’, where I determined a lack of authenticity on a Goan tour and the reasons for this that was not observed by my fellow tourists.
By the time you have completed a degree you should have strong analytical skills that you will inevitably use in your everyday life, whether you realise this or not. A person without a degree tends to present unsubstantiated arguments and tends to struggle with articulation. In essence, the person with the degree is most likely to win an argument, but the person without the degree might not be able to see this.
In my blog I publish a range of articles. Many of these are focused on my own personal experiences in the tourism industry, but are presented and assessed from an analytical perspective, using the skills that I gained as a student. You might not chose to write as I do, but if you have had a degree education, the likelihood is that you probably think the way I do in some situations.
Do you think there are any other reasons why a degree might make you a better person? Please share in the comments below!