With the rising cost of college tuition and the still-lackluster economy, many young people today wonder if a college degree is really worth it. After all, everyone seems to have a relative, neighbor or friend who did alright even without a college degree. However there’s still a reason many employers pay more for a college graduate, and these days, more employers than ever require job candidates to have at least a two-year college degree.
Earning a college degree can equal greater opportunities for the rest of your life, in good economic times and bad. But the benefits of a college education extend far beyond increased earning potential more opportunities. Going to college can improve your life in numerous ways, both tangible and intangible.
Increased earning potential is one of the biggest reasons people have invested time and money into college. You’ll earn more money than your less-educated peers, straight out of school and over the course of your whole life.
A high school graduate can hope for average lifetime earnings of about $1.3 million. Earn an associate degree, and your average lifetime earning potential can increase to $1.7 million. Earn a Bachelor’s, and you’re looking at $2.3 million or more, depending on your field of study. Go on for a post-graduate degree and your average lifetime earnings increase to $2.7 million for a Master’s degree holder, $3.3 million for a Doctorate holder and $3.6 for a professional degree holder.
You’ll Have More Opportunities
A Bachelor of Arts degree, especially one in a high-earning field like management, will open career doors for the rest of your life, in ways that you can’t even imagine now. Of course, with a college degree under your belt, you’ll qualify for more positions, have more career flexibility and be more likely to receive promotions. You’ll get even more opportunities to pick up skills on the job and make yourself an even more desirable candidate for future employers.
But a college degree is worth more than just what you learn in class. As a college graduate, you’ll have access to resources that far surpass your increased earning power. Your classmates will also go on to become successful in their fields, and you’ll benefit from having formed those networking connections early in life. You’ll also have an in with others alumni of your school, even if you didn’t attend at the same time.
You’ll Have a Deeper Understanding of the World
Going to college will help you gain a deeper understanding of the way the world works. No matter what major you choose, you’ll be required to branch out at least a little, and you’ll gain a basic knowledge of some other fields, like politics, history, art or medicine. You’ll have a better intellectual grasp of day-to-day things like saving for retirement, understanding a lease, handling your finances, safeguarding your health and protecting the environment. You’ll feel empowered throughout your life and may become the person your less-educated friends and relatives come to for advice.
You’ll Hone Your Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking skills are crucial for your success on the job and in life. They’re what help you evaluate a candidate’s political platform, recognize a telephone scam or take a sensational news story with a grain of salt. On the job, your reasoning and problem-solving skills will help you out-perform your peers and make you more valuable to the company – that means you’ll be less likely to be fired in an economic downturn.
A Bachelor’s Degree Lays the Foundation for Post-Graduate Work
If you aspire to a career that requires a Master’s degree or higher, a Bachelor’s degree is the first step toward that academic goal. You may not even be thinking of going to graduate school now, but you might change your mind down the road. You might realize you long for a career in a different field, or simply decide you want to go further in your own field than a Bachelor’s degree can take you. A specialized medical degree like radiation therapy from Gwynedd Mercy University will also open doors to further career growth.
If you think going to college for a four-year degree won’t be worth the time and expense, think again. A college degree is still worth much more than the paper it’s printed on – it’s a prerequisite for employment in many positions, even on the entry level, and it guarantees you a lifetime of increased opportunities, bigger paychecks and other less tangible benefits. Take the plunge and earn your Bachelor’s degree – you won’t regret it!