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ENGL 102-- Inquiry Topic Proposal

How Beneficial are College Degrees Nowadays?

I am interested in this particular research option because more people are attending
college today than ever before. I am interested in seeing how college degrees are
benefitting, or not benefitting, people these days. Being able to attend a university is
a big deal, especially because of all of the expenses that come along with it. Each
year, college tuitions are increasing and college graduates end up sinking in debt.
There are many successful people in the world that never even made it past a high
school diploma as far as education. Its interesting to see how people have different
views about going to college. Most people would say that is it obviously beneficial
and in most cases imperative to have a college degree. Others, however, will argue
that it is not as important as it seems. My personal experience with this topic is
limited, since I am only a freshman in college. However, I have grown up with the
notion that college degrees are the only way to succeed in life. Right now, I am
qualified to write on this topic because my goal is to eventually earn a college
degree. So, by researching the benefits of having one, I will be better educated and
aware of how my degree will/will not favor me in the future.

1. Shapiro, Gary. "College Degrees Are Vastly Overrated." Forbes. Forbes
Magazine, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
a. The central claim of this specific article is to convince people that
college degrees are becoming more and more overrated. It explains
that while many of todays successful entrepreneurs did graduate
from top-notch business schools, there are many others that did not
attend college at all.
b. The article seems to value the fact that college degrees alone do not
produce successful business. The author of the article includes
examples of well-known people who are famous now for their
inventions/creations, and never earned a degree. Daniel Ek, for
example, who dropped out of college and went on to launch Spotify.
c. The author of the article does seem a bit bias towards the fact that
college degrees are becoming less and less needed for todays world.
Shapiro states that innovation has no limits or rules. He explains
that many successful people have made a big mark in the world before
ever going to college.
2. College Career Life. "Why Four-Year Degrees Are Overrated." College Career
Life. N.p., 29 July 2013. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
a. This article, written by College Career Life, breaks down four reasons
why getting a college degree is not as beneficial as everyone thinks.
They are: degrees are no longer distinguishing in the job market, you
can not get anywhere without experience, return on investment is not

Comment [MW1]: When using this source I would use

specific detail in saying what percent of successful
entrepreneurs do not have a college degree. If that
statistic is hard to find I would look up CEOs without a
Comment [MW2]: An interesting statistic to look up when
talking about college dropouts like Daniel Ek would be
the percent who failed starting their own company.

guaranteed, and many high growth jobs dont require a bachelors

b. The article values the fact that a four-year degree depends on each
students specific circumstances. Today, simply having a degree is not
enough. It might even be harmful to ones financial and career future.
Despite popular belief that college is necessary to succeed, there are
reasons as to why it is overrated.
c. The author of this article discusses both the reasons for going to
college and earning a degree and counteracts the notion with reasons
to not go as well. This author is less bias because they provided solid
evidence for each reason.
3. "How a College Degree Is Beneficial." FCC Student Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb.
a. Unlike the previous two articles, this one offers insight to how/why a
college degree is beneficial. The author of this article explains that no
matter what a college degree will result in: attaining your dream job,
great pay, benefits, back up, and retirement.
b. The article values going to college and earning the degree. It states
that when you think of college, you should be thinking of your future.
The author openly says if you want to work a dream job, get paid well,
have nice benefits, and retire early, you should consider a college
c. There is definitely a bias tone to this article, because it only discusses
one side of the argumentgoing to college = having a bright and
successful future.


This research question is arguable because there are many people who think
that having a college degree is the only path to success. Others argue that
being successful has nothing to do with having a degree. Two of the sources I
found explain that there are many alternatives and ways to be successful
without going to college at all. The last article stated that without a college
degree, chances of having a comfortable life style are slim. I might revise the
question by focusing on the benefits of having a specific major over another.

Comment [MW3]: This is a very interesting point that

would be interesting to compare the median salary of
those high growth jobs without degrees to ones with
Comment [MW4]: This would be a great opportunity to
look at situations where students lives were taken over
by debt and use that as evidence

Comment [MW5]: A key message I believe from this

article is how this author is simply trying to say that
college can create an easier pathway to your dream job.
That doesnt mean that you have to go to college but
college can get you there quicker