MIC: These Six College Experiences Could Help Determine Your Entire Future

Career College Central Summary:

  • Today, college degrees are increasingly necessary to find rewarding, financially feasible careers.
  • But whether or not you end up satisfied with your overall college experience depends a lot on just a few simple factors, according to recent Gallup polling. Earlier this month, Gallup released a new analysis of the the 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index, a survey of 30,000 college graduates released in September 2014. Within the reams of data, they concluded that just a specific handful of college experiences accounted for a disproportionate share of the participants' long-term success in life.
  • The polling firm found that grads "who strongly agree they had the following six experiences in college — which Gallup refers to as the 'Big Six' — perform markedly better on every measure of long-term success compared with graduates who missed the mark on these experiences"…
  • These two categories, measuring emotional support and how involved and engaging college workloads tended to be, ultimately proved more important to the students' long-term success than what type of college they went to.
  • On the plus side, most students studied under one professor who made them "excited about learning." But on many other questions, the outlook was poor. Of the six factors listed above, just 3% of graduates strongly agreed that they had experienced all six. Just one out of five students reported being "extremely active" in extracurricular activities, while a similarly dim percentage reported having an effective mentor. About a third said that they worked on long-term projects, had jobs or internships allowing them to apply their knowledge, or felt their professors cared about them as people.
  • Just as previous analyses of labor statistics have concluded that college remains a good financial decision despite high levels of debt, Gallup analyst Brandon Busteed says that the newer data means college remains a valuable experience for those who "made the most of it."

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