Mind Matters – Thoughts on Higher Education

August 31, 2022

Good one 3 Nina Joshi

As we head into back-to-school season, a colleague and I were marveling at how our staff here at UES, Inc. is mostly comprised of individuals who have focused on higher education in so many varied fields. One of the aspects that makes UES a fun place to work is that we house some serious brain power – and we’re not afraid to show it. One of the reasons I fit in well at UES is that I understand the value – and the fun - of higher education. My family has labeled me as a “life-long learner,” (okay, I get it, I have four degrees in different fields). My education experience has led me forward in directions I could never have imagined when I set foot on my first campus.

There are many reasons higher education matters and not all have to do with the career one may end up in. A college degree is not only academic but helps to contribute to the personal growth and development of a student. Some of the reasons we strongly support higher education are:

• Exposure to possibilities — Most high school graduates haven’t had enough exposure to the possibilities available to them after graduation to make a long-term career choice. Consider what you knew about the world when you were 18. I knew I had an interest in policy and politics, but I had no idea I would eventually become attracted to public health let alone become an expert in the science of public health. I learned this in college. A college education introduces students to a variety of courses and career options that may not have been previously considered.

• Ability to pivot — A college education teaches students a wide range of topics and applicable skills and capabilities. Today, with the advancement of technology and AI, some current jobs that exist now may not exist in the future. The skills that are learned with a college education should be broadly applicable and should lead to lifelong learning.

• Personal development — The post-high school years are an important time of personal growth. The independence that’s a part of the college experience is critical for learning how to navigate life going forward, apart from familiar family and friends. Building new friendships, learning life skills, navigating personal choices, exposure to new people, ideas, ways of living and thinking, and becoming a responsible adult are part of why higher education is important aside from professional preparation. I know that the many years I spent in college were instrumental in my maturity process and shaping me into who I am today.

At UES (and happily at many other firms), we support our associates pursuing more education by offering tuition assistance as a benefit. In addition, our associates’ children can apply for UES scholarships every year they are enrolled in undergraduate studies and in good standing with their educational institution. That is our contribution towards positive educational experiences for the next generation’s growth. We believe all these advantages offered contribute not only to our team, their families, and our clients, but to the world as a whole. I will share more of my thoughts on this topic next month.


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