For centuries, a college degree has been regarded as the gold standard of an education – the pinnacle of your success and the only way to truly succeed professionally. Lately, there have been a number of articles and discussions questioning just what a college education’s value really is. It isn’t hard to understand why when you consider that record numbers of graduates are unemployed or working in a field other than the one that they have a degree in. But you should ignore the naysayers. A college education is more valuable today than it ever has been.
Just take a look at some of the numbers to get an idea of why that is.
- Over half of all current jobs require a college degree.
- Over half of the jobs expected to be created over the foreseeable future will also require a college degree.
- College grads earn almost double what a high school graduate makes.
- By 2018 more than 22 million people will need to earn degrees in addition to the millions who already hold them in order to meet the employment demands of the country.
- The LA Times actually applied a dollar value to a college degree – 570,000 dollars. The average four year degree costs 200,000. In other words, it’s an expensive investment but one worth making.
Obviously, a college education is important. Having one influences several things concerning your career including the following.
- While more grads than ever are unemployed, more people than ever are unemployed. Among them, college grads are still the minority. In 2010, 90 percent of grads were employed while less than 70 percent of non-graduates were. In other words, having a college degree means that you will be able to find a job easier.
- All the studies have found consistently that holding a college degree makes you much more likely to get a promotion on the job than one who lacks the degree. Your degree will help you advance up the ladder much faster than if you didn’t have one.
- You’ll also earn more money thanks to your degree. Simply put, having a college degree means that you’ll be able to command a higher salary than those who lack college education. Money matters and your degree will help you get more of it.
There are a couple of things to remember about a college education, however. Three things will have a big impact on just how much your degree actually helps you, and it’s vital that you remember them if you want to get the most from it.
- Subject of Degree – Simply put, earning a degree in Classic Literature or Art History is going to make it harder to find employment than earning a degree in Computer Science. They say do what you love, but remember that when it comes to your career, some roads are harder to travel than others.
- Type of Degree – The higher your level of education, the more employable you are and the more money you’ll earn. Simply put, a master’s degree will earn you more than an associate’s degree. The more you put into school, the more you’ll get back out of it.
- School – Earning a college degree from a respected, fully accredited school will pay off big for you. Earning a degree from a non-accredited diploma mill won’t give you as many advantages. Look for accreditation before you enroll to ensure you’re choosing a school that actually helps you instead of one that does little more than take your money.
Don’t listen to the doomsday predictions crying out that college education is pointless today. It’s not true in the least. A college education is actually more important to you and your future than it has ever been, and is well worth pursuing no matter your age.