The Value of a College Education

college education valueIn 1970, only 26 percent of middle-class workers had any kind of education beyond high school. Today, nearly 60 percent of all jobs in the U.S. economy require higher education. The wage gap between people who have a bachelor’s degree and people with only a high school diploma have nearly doubled since the early 1980s.

It has become crucial to acquire higher education after high school, but college degrees are expensive and growing more expensive by the day. College can test your mental fortitude – physically, academically, socially, and intellectually. There is no doubt, though; it will pay off in huge dividends. You WILL make more money.  The range varies but the statistics consistently show a big difference in salary between those with college degrees and those without. College degrees open doors.  The opportunities for college grads are numerous.  There are more job openings, more possibilities for promotions, and more flexibility in the job. College degrees obviously make you more marketable. College-educated people not only have higher earnings than people without degrees, they are also more likely to have health and retirement benefits with their jobs, and they are far less likely to be unemployed. Having a degree is not just about economic advantages. People with college degrees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.  In an extremely competitive job market, this is crucial. Truthfully, the higher paying professions require a college degree – doctors and lawyers.

In addition to enhancing your career opportunities, college degrees empower you. It is a stepping stone into adulthood.  In most cases, parents foot the bill while their children matriculate.  But most do live on their own handling things like rent, schedules, and utilities without the help of their parents. Thinking and reasoning skills are learned in college. Social skills are fine-tuned. College students acquire an extensive network while in college.  Roommates and friends build careers that may or may not be connected to your career path, but they do build your network and sphere of influence. Your network can expose you to additional opportunities.

Educated workers are becoming increasingly valuable for two reasons: Many lower-skilled jobs are being shipped overseas, and computers do much of the mundane, repetitive work now. What’s left are more complex tasks that require people to solve problems and work together. College grads fall into this category – they are problem solvers in an increasingly competitive global economy where education matters more than ever.

Source: “The Value of a College Degree.” The Value of a College Degree. Web. 21 Apr. 2013.

“10 Reasons to Get a College Degree.”

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