Comparison of Articles on College Education and Its Importance

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Different individuals have varied notions concerning college education and its importance. There are those who believe that college education is essential for one to be successful while there are those who think that it does not make a difference in ones life. Sawmill and Owen develop a paper that mainly focuses on pointing out the importance of attendance of college. The authors look at the issue from the perspective of the increasing in earning rates for those who attend college and those who do not reach the college level. Vedder, Denhart, and Robe also address the issue of college education however, their focus is on the employability rate of fresh graduates and how the jobs they currently hold require less than four years of education. Both sources focus on college education but their approach to the issue is different. For Sawmill and Owen, there is a look at how those who have college education gain higher earnings through their lives compared to those who have not reached college.

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Their work emphasizes the importance of college despite their agreement that going back to school may be a disservice to some. They state, By telling all young people they should go to college no matter what, we are actually doing some of them a disservice (1). On the other hand, Vedder, Denhart and Robe emphasize the great injustice that college graduates are facing. Their work looks at how many of those who graduate with a college degree end up in low-skilled jobs that historically were meant for those with a lower education attainment. As they mention About 48 percent of employed U.S. college graduates are in jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests requires less than a four-year college education (1).

Both articles construct their argument based on statistics from other sources. As Sawmill and Owen work through their article, they focus on how advancement in life leads to an increase in earnings for college level individuals. They, however, recognize that there is no causal effect relationship and that identifying such a relationship may not be easy. The authors identify that if the notion is based on the smartest and most motivated individuals finishing college and gaining financial stability, it is clear that the variations in how people earn will not be based on the years of education of these individuals. The authors also analyze the issue on the ability of the individual to pay for his or her college education. They identify that when there is a high payment expectation for college that most will opt to skip college. Other students would prefer to forego college and instead use that time to more money they would not get while in college.

On the other hand, Vedder, Denhart, and Robe identify the significant growth in the number of overeducated individuals in professions that previously had low numbers of such individuals. The authors recognize that during the 1970s there was less than one percent of individuals with college degrees in professions like firefighting and taxi driving. However, the number has currently increased up to fifteen percent of those who have graduated from college becoming firefighters and taxi drivers. As the previous article identified, there is the lack of a causal effect relationship between finishing college or not attending college and financial stability and the rise in earnings. Vedder, Denhart, and Robe emphasize on this through their evidence of the overeducated individuals taking low-skilled professions. Both articles ensure that they use sources that provide statistics that help cement their arguments.

It is often necessary to incorporate verifiable facts within any work put out to the public. In such instances, readers can have a source of reference for any information present within the work. Both articles work on proving their facts through the incorporation of statistics availed by other sources and thus give the reader the opportunity to verify the information. It is however usually better if the articles incorporate the opinion of individuals who are directly affected by the work being developed. An analysis of both works reveals that the authors mainly focus on facts and evidence from other studies but there is a relatively low representation of what those directly affected feel.

Vedder, Denhart, and Robe identify the difference between the various college degrees and especially in how much they earn. The authors express that those who are in sectors that are more technical and have done technical courses in their colleges including engineering or economic usually earn more even double the salary of an individual who did social work or education. The difference is observable throughout their career even about to their mid-career ages. The authors also identify the significant difference between colleges and the effect the difference has on employment opportunities and the rates of earning for their graduates. As they state Typical graduates of elite private schools make more than graduates of flagship state universities, but those graduates do much better than those attending relatively non-selective institutions (1). Sawmill and Owen mainly focus on the earning difference between those from high school and those who have only reached the high school level. The authors identify that there is a significant difference of up to fifteen thousand dollars between how much those who graduate from college earn and those who have a high school diploma earn. As they mention Hamilton Project research shows that 23- to 25-year-olds with bachelors degrees make $12,000 more than high school graduates but by age 50, the gap has grown to $46,500 (1).

There is an appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos for both authors with both trying to incorporate these aspects and clearly bring the out within their work. For Sawmill and Owen ethos appear in the first paragraph when they refer to the general notion of college education in the United States. They state, For the past few decades, it has been widely argued that a college degree is a prerequisite to entering the middle class in the United States (1). It is their way of persuading the reader concerning the thought that citizens of the United States hold towards college graduates. The ethos appeal is also evident in what Vedder, Denhart, and Robe are trying to pass forward. They state All of those claims do, to varying degrees, have some merit and validity, but the argument in this report is that those claims fail to tell the full story. Their focus is mainly for the arguments for and against the issue that surrounds low-skilled jobs for college graduates.

The focus of both works towards an emotional response or the appeal to pathos is also evident within the work. Sawmill and Owen recognize the difference in earning for those who have graduated from high school and those with a college degree. They state, We all know that, on average, college graduates make significantly more money over their lifetimes than those with only a high school education (1). The statement may raise an emotional response, especially within college and high school graduates. There is also evidence of appeal to pathos within the work by Vedder, Denhart, and Robe where the authors argue out the existence of high payment for college graduate when many individuals including the authors are skeptic towards enrollment in colleges. Logos is evident for both articles where they clearly incorporate the use of facts from other sources that have carried out research concerning the issue at hand.

It is easy to recognize the difference and similarity between the two sources. Both articles work on ensuring that various parts of their work are based on facts that can be proved. Therefore, such sources are reliable and good for reference. Presumably, these sources have a certain level of reliability and validity that fictional sources lack and thus may be applied in developing information that will benefit not only those directly involved but the society at large. The two sources act as a form of appeal to the many authors especially when they develop papers that address various issues in the community. They give these authors an opportunity to identify the best way through which they can come up with reliable non-fictional arguments that are not merely for entertainment purposes but also play an educative role. In this way, many people will benefit from the information they are trying to pass forward and there will be an easier access to facts that touch on sensitive issues within the community.

Works cited

ADDIN ZOTERO_BIBL {"custom":[]} CSL_BIBLIOGRAPHY Sawmill, Isabel, and Stephanie Owen. Should Everyone Go To College? | Brookings Institution. Brookings. N.p., 2013. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

Vedder, Richard, Christopher Denhart, and Jonathan Robe. "Why Are Recent College Graduates Underemployed? University Enrollments and Labor-Market Realities." Center for College Affordability and Productivity (NJ1) (2013).

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