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10 Reasons Public Universities Are Better for Careers Than Private Liberal Arts Colleges

Earning a four-year college degree is not only an important milestone in your life, it is a valuable tool for gaining employment. In most cases, if you do not receive a college diploma, you will have a much more difficult road ahead for finding an internship, temporary job or starting a career. The question is: what kind of school do you want to attend? There are two major choices: public universities and private liberal arts colleges. Outlined are ten reasons why choosing a public university gives you an advantage over a private college for pursuing a career.

1. College is expensive and becoming more so. If you compare tuition prices at private colleges versus public schools, the latter is less expensive. According to the Collegedata website, the College Board reported that for the 2015-16 school year, the average cost of tuition and fees at private colleges was $32,405, $23,893 for out-of-state residents attending public universities and $9,410 for in-state residents at public colleges.

So, you can save $10,000 more per year at an out-of-state public school and $20,000 more at an in-state college than the private variety. The less tuition you could pay, the more money you would save when you need it later. You can put more of that money in the bank or an investment vehicle which could add more to your amount over time.

2. Public universities are commonly larger than private colleges. While a private college averages 2,000 undergraduate students, the population of undergraduates at public institutions averages 20,000 students or more. More undergraduates can make a big difference in the collegiate experience.

3. To earn a four-year degree from a public institution, you have to be determined to keep that diploma in mind as the main goal for going there, because there are so many distractions at public universities. There are greater temptations to go to parties and get drunk, which can ruin study habits and your degree. So, you need to set a schedule to help you manage to study and participate in social activities.

Potential employers are impressed by alumni from public universities who have balanced their time well. Also, the most important activity that employers look for is internships or any other employment, relevant to your major. Volunteering is also a real experience a potential employer looks for. Grade Point Averages (GPAs) are close to the last items employers examine. Many won’t even look at GPAs; It is usually enough to have your Bachelor’s degree and your school listed on your resume. Academics at smaller private colleges are generally more rigorous, which means you will be going to classes and studying most of the time. So you will find it more difficult to attend social functions and maintain a social life. Personally, I think the latter situation reflects poorly on a resume.

4. Career centers at public universities are always available on campus to help their students find internships, jobs and careers. Also, they offer large career fairs on campus where students can interact with many employers.

5. At public universities, students are exposed to a large diversity of students who come from all walks of life, based on economic status, race, religion, and nationality. This is generally not the case at private schools which are more selective about choosing students who contribute to closer knit communities and smaller classes. So, you really don’t have as many opportunities to mingle with other students with diverse backgrounds.

6. The larger student population at public universities encourages undergraduates to join more activities and clubs. So, many students who are shy can become more gregarious. Employers are always looking for outgoing, people-friendly employees who will reflect well in their business.

7. Public universities offer many more opportunities for networking with the alumni faithful, who might search for students who would make good candidates for internships, jobs and careers.

8. There is a wider variety of subjects taught and more degree options at public universities. You can have the flexibility to create your own niche of studies. Private colleges typically offer Bachelors of Arts or Sciences. So, a student is more limited to choose from certain subjects.

9. Public universities offer the latest research facilities that attract top teachers. Such opportunities help students learn from renowned professors who have cutting-edge knowledge in their fields.

10. If you decide to go to graduate school to further your career, what better school to admit you than your own university? This situation is much easier and more convenient than moving from another school. If you attend a small private college and plan to go to a graduate school at a public university, the change can be a real shock.

When you think about what kind of college you want to attend, make sure you learn about the types of schools that might interest you. You will likely choose between a public university or a smaller private college. Private liberal arts colleges limit the number of undergraduates. You will study a lot more, participate in fewer social activities while paying more for tuition. Public universities offer much more, such as: finding a job or career due to lower tuition, larger student population and diversity, more social activities, more degree offerings, networking with alumni and renowned professors, and larger facilities for career fairs on campus. Of course, which ever type of college you choose should be based on your personal preference. After all, isn’t earning a degree and finding a career the main goals of going to college?

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