By Henry Flores, director of the CFCA Communication Center in El Salvador
What is the value of higher education or a university degree if you can’t find a job?
In many parts of the world, students go through extreme situations just to go to school. They struggle with monthly tuition, poor nutrition, lack of access to technology and research tools for assignments, and, in some cases, access to a nearby school.
Mauricio, a sponsored child and student in El Salvador.
But if it is this difficult to go to elementary and high school, it becomes much harder to access college education. High tuition in private universities and limited access to public universities make the dreams of many teenagers seem impossible. In spite of all these burdens, many have enough determination to obtain a college degree.
However, having a college degree does not necessarily guarantee that you will have a job. It doesn’t even mean that you will find a job. After studying for years, investing in that education and finally graduating, just to discover that there is no job available is the reality for many students worldwide.
If this is the case, why is a degree important? Because education sets you free. A developed society is based largely on the fact that its citizens are educated or are being educated. Education allows people to make thoughtful decisions, based upon their rights, their benefits and†their knowledge. Education has the capacity to open a whole new world. Maybe that knowledge will not be useful at the moment, but it helps the individual to build a better future by making intelligent decisions, passing their knowledge down to future generations and reaching new horizons they never thought possible.
I remember two years ago meeting Antonio, who was 38 years old at the time. He is married to Ana Margarita, and they have three kids: Herber, Bryan and Tania. Antonio suffered from poliomyelitis (polio, the viral disease that can only be prevented by immunization) and had a leg disability. In spite of his reality and problems, he understood the need for an education and, with much effort and support from his family, he graduated as a computer and network specialist.
Even though he had not found a job for more than a year, he is a better man who can offer himself as an example for his own children and whose wife is proud of him. He can lead the family toward a better future. He is ready for that one opportunity to rise. He is now transmitting the importance of education to his children, and he and his children can make better decisions for their country in the future.
Education is the first step toward a better future for people. Education is the center where all possibilities become connected and a door to opportunities opens up. For some, those doors can be smaller, and opportunities can be much less, but still, being educated means being ready to conquer the world we want for ourselves, when that one chance comes by.