Education: The Gift of Opportunity

By Frederick Keating, Ed.D.
President, Rowan College of South Jersey
Columnist for New Jersey Free Press

Published December, 2020 – New Jersey Free Press

Searching for that perfect gift this holiday season? Consider the gift of education. It’s a gift that will last a lifetime, with no need to worry about size, color or style.

Statistics prove that college is a smart investment. It opens the door to a more profitable income and provides greater personal satisfaction. The decision to commit to a career goal and financially invest in higher education, while a wise choice, is not always a simple one. Today’s college students face the challenge of planning astutely for the future along with added concerns brought about by the coronavirus, social unrest and unemployment. During this difficult time, it is important for us to remember that change encourages growth and presents opportunity.

Maybe at this point in your life you are not prepared to make a four-year commitment. Consider then, community college. An associate degree or certificate can be a great gift to yourself and others, opening doors to turbocharge your creativity, career prospects and earnings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, students receiving associate degrees can expect to earn $4,640 to $7,160 more annually than individuals without degrees, increasing the hourly wage by 13.4%. Higher education also provides opportunity for internships, a key hiring factor when employers evaluate equally qualified candidates. NACE Job Outlook 2020 notes that in 2019, 56% of interns and 40% of co-op students became full-time, entry-level hires.

As you prepare for your future, choose a program that resonates with your career and personal goals. Rowan College of South Jersey offers a selection of degree programs that provide the technical skills and academic knowledge needed to find employment after graduation, or for transfer to a four-year university. Our certificate programs — ranging from 12 to 36 hours of instruction — are designed to develop or enhance workplace proficiencies and prepare students for immediate employment following completion.

This holiday season give the gift of education. Make 2021 a new year filled with optimism and discovery.

Examine a new perspective, readjust to your surroundings, and use that knowledge to improve your educational, financial and emotional wellbeing.

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Happy Holidays from Rowan College of South Jersey