Did you know that, on average, college graduates earn more than non-graduates? Maybe you did, but you did you know that graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn up to 56% more per year than those with just a high school diploma.
If you’re looking for financial independence and stability, getting that degree puts you ahead on the salary ladder simply by having the degree which is one of the main economic benefits of college education.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in April 2018, college graduates experienced a 2.1% unemployment rate, compared to 4.3% for high school graduates. The overall unemployment rate for adults able to work was averaging 3.6%, so it’s easy to see why having a college degree can help keep you shielded from being unemployed.
While the cost of a four-year public institution rose by about 34% between 2005-2015, the undergraduate enrollment in post-secondary institutions rose more by 37% from 2000-2010.
You may be wondering why the attendance has grown more despite the huge increase in costs, and that’s because the benefits of a higher education are growing faster than the costs.
To explain, the income of those without a degree is going down at a faster rate than the cost of tuition is going up. This means that the gap between getting a degree and not getting a degree is getting wider, faster.
But even more importantly, college tuition doesn’t have to cost money at all! You can attend a fully accredited American university, tuition-free at University of the People and capture all the advantages of college education with very low costs compared to traditional universities.
Besides the personal benefits of college education, you may have a family, or intend to have one in the near future. Did you know that many of the jobs that provide benefits like family healthcare, retirement plans, social security matching benefits and the like typically require at least an undergraduate degree? It always makes sense to consider your family when deciding whether or not to go to college because your job, career satisfaction, and its benefits will play a role in your family life.
Interested in trying something new and living outside of your home country? While it’s not always necessary to hold a degree to work abroad, many countries do require work visas to stay for a long amount of time and collect an income, which means that being able to freelance may not be enough. This means that if you get a degree, you’re exponentially expanding your chances at landing a job abroad with better salary expectations. Having a degree from an accredited American University signals to companies around the world that you can speak English, stay committed, and can provide greater value to their organization.
In most cases, holding a degree automatically places you above the job competition that doesn’t have a degree.
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Your network is your net worth.” College offers an opportunity to connect with people from all over the globe and different walks of life to make connections that could last a lifetime.
Beyond just friendships, these connections could pay off when you enter the job market. Experts estimate that 70%-80% of jobs aren’t advertised publicly. Often, despite your skills, you simply have to know the right people to secure the employment you seek.
Whether you know exactly what you want to major in or not, most colleges require a set of general electives to be able to begin your “upper division,” or major-specific, coursework. This means that you’ll be learning about various topics that you may have never been exposed to before, which expands your chances to discover a new interest, passion or hobby.
For example, if you’re going to major in Computer Science and you have to take a Humanities elective like a writing class, you may discover a new love for words. Even though it’s technically outside your area of expertise, it allows for diversification and well-rounded thinking. For example, universities, including University of the People offer a wide range of electives from education to statistics and psychology to Greek history.
There’s no denying that college is demanding. Between being a student, managing your course load, working a job, spending time with your family, and making time for your social life and hobbies, there is a lot to learn to balance when earning your degree.
The good news is that the skills you need to master as a student translate to personal benefits of a college education as they help teach time management, budgeting, working with others and resourcefulness.
Besides the personal life skills gained, college coursework prepares you with better overall communication skills that are beneficial for the workplace. From oral communication and presentation skills to writing, working in a team and research, higher education teaches you to see the big picture and be able to analyze situations better so that you can be a problem-solver.
According to a recent CDC study, those who obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher tend to live about 9 years longer than those who don’t. This doesn’t mean that simply going to college makes you live longer, but it is correlated to lower smoking rates for college educated individuals and overall, the fact that more educated people tend to make better choices to positively affect one’s life span.
Additionally, when it comes to psychological health, since we spend so much time of our lives at work, it’s important to find a job that you enjoy doing. With more education, you’re naturally expanding the amount of opportunities to secure a job and grow your career.