Advantages Of Earning A College Degree – It’s More Than Just Money!

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The advantages of earning a college degree seem pretty apparent when looked at from a standpoint of salary and earning power.  But there are other aspects that make it even more attractive and can make a world of difference in a person’s life.  In this college preparation article, we’ll go over some factors to take into consideration that make college a great option for a brighter, and much more lucrative future.

Previously, we talked about what to major in college and how to go about selecting a degree that fits both your interests, and your budget…or should we say, your parent’s budget.  Now we’re going to shift our focus to some specific reasons why you should pursue a college bachelor’s degree, in addition to the most obvious one…money.

Advantages of Earning a College Degree

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Knowledge is Power“?  This has never been more true than in today’s tough economy and job market.  Acquiring the advanced skills needed in your career area of choice are a must.  In keeping with the “Knowledge is Power” theme, let’s get into it…

The Power of Income
Let’s begin with the most obvious advantage, earning power.  On average, working adults with a college degree earn over $1 Million over the course of their lifetime when compared to non-degree-holding adults.  That is a fact, and that figure continues to climb as the job market shifts more toward the demand for skilled employees.  Now, that’s not to say that a person without a 4 year college degree (or even an Associate Degree from a Community College) cannot make a good salary and a good living, but the statistics show that one of the biggest advantages of earning a college degree is in the salary, compounded over the life of that worker.

Also notable is the reported 25% more that a degree will earn you yearly, when compared to not having a degree in a similar job profile.  That could mean the difference between making $50,000 per year, and making $62,500 per  year!  That doesn’t seem like an overly large amount, but if you compound that figure over the course of 10 years, you are missing out on  $125,000 in salary by not having a degree…and that’s not including raises or bonuses!

The Power of Opportunity
Earning a college degree also boosts your employ-ability!  Being a college graduate shows potential employers that you have achieved a level of mastery in your field and bring much more to the table than someone who has a lower degree of education.  Sure, you may require a higher salary for employment but many companies would much rather have the knowledge and skill base you possess, which would pay for that extra salary in the long run.

By earning your degree, you are becoming specialized in a specific area…be it teaching, architecture, marketing etc.  More and more businesses and companies are looking for specialization, or experts in a given field.  You simply cannot be considered an expert without a degree, or extensive work and/or experience in an area.

In addition, so many more jobs and careers these days have a minimum education level to even be considered for the job.  Whether it be a 2 year Associate Degree, a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree, or even a Masters Degree, the job market is moving in a direction that requires higher education and specialization as an industry standard.  With that comes the increased salary, but in general you really limit your opportunities and job prospects by not having that degree.

The Power of Advancement
Keeping in line with the Power of Opportunity, another one of the advantages of earning a college degree is your potential to be promoted within your job or career.  Most corporations would much rather promote from within than go out looking for someone.  If that promotion means you need an advanced degree, then you will be passed over without it! 

Let’s use Law Enforcement as an example.  Now this may not be the same across the country, but in order to be considered for promotion to a higher rank within the department, many cities require some type of degree in Law Enforcement or Criminal Justice to be considered.  It’s true that most departments do not require any college experience to join the force, but in order to move up through the ranks, you may be asked to get a degree. 

Also See: 10 Best Colleges For Criminal Justice

The same goes for any management positions in large companies.  You may have started working in the stock room at your local Walmart when you were in high school, moved up to department manager, and are now being looked at to move up even farther.  That could mean a corporate level promotion!  But, if you don’t have the education required for the position, you can waive bye-bye to that opportunity.

The Power of Confidence
Confidence is a powerful thing.  There have been studies that show that people who are well educated have higher levels of confidence, and it shows in their careers.  Confidence is an aspect of life that many people take for granted and don’t pay particular attention to, especially those without it.  And it’s those people that don’t realize that it can have a HUGE positive effect on your life.

If you have achieved a certain level of education, that is a positive accomplishment in your life.  And your degree is like a “trophy” that acts as a symbol of your educational achievement.  There is no feeling quite like graduating from college, and this that feeling is a great source of confidence that you can use in the real world, and your career.  People without that feeling of accomplishment, and not having a degree to “back them up”, feel as if they are less worthy than someone who had a degree.

As we know, this is not always true.  But it’s human nature for some people to feel inferior or less intelligent than people who have graduated from college.  This inferiority shows in every aspect of their lives, and can hold a person back from following their dreams or going for a promotion.  It’s indirect, but it’s definitely one of the advantages of earning a college degree.

Let’s face it, not many parents and students truely know what it takes to get accepted to college.  That’s why we sat down and wrote Plan, Prepare, Succeed: Getting Accepted To College.  It outlines what colleges want to see in their applicants, what it takes to get accepted to the Elite colleges and also some common pitfalls to avoid as a high school student.

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