Why Should I Earn a College Degree?

Ask any college grad about his or her school years and the value of that experience, and you’ll be amazed at the wide range of responses.

Since the answer is so individual, no one can tell you in advance what life-long memories and benefits you’ll end up taking away from a college experience. Discovering your unique meaning is one of the many pleasures and surprises of earning a college degree, but there are more commonalities shared by most graduates, including the following:

  1. Competitive Edge In the past, a high school diploma served as the gateway into the working world. Today, a four-year degree is a virtual necessity for landing an entry-level position, particularly one with growth potential. A degree provides an edge over the competition in an increasingly competitive marketplace and indicates to potential employers that you are intelligent, persistent and responsible. Graduating from college shows you are capable of setting and meeting distant and difficult goals.
  2. Greater Earning Potential A degree provides you with the opportunity to command a higher salary than someone who lacks a college education. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a bachelor’s degree has the potential to nearly double the annual income the same person could earn with just a high school diploma. And the higher the degree you obtain, the more valuable a resource you’ll become to an employer.
  3. Career Advancement A degree can play a major role in moving your career forward. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nine out of 10 of the fastest-growing jobs during the next decade will require some education or training beyond a high school diploma. A bachelor’s or associate degree is a requirement for 12 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations.
  4. Developed Sense of Culture The typical four-year college degree almost always includes a broad survey of culture from the sciences and humanities that form the basis of civilized life. Exposure to art, music, history, social sciences and the scientific method can create a deep and long-lasting appreciation for the finer things in life, as well as a finely tuned mind.
  5. Self-Satisfaction In addition to purely financial considerations, college provides you with the opportunity to develop intangible but important personal traits like discipline, critical thinking, self-esteem and communication skills. After all, those papers don’t write themselves!

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