The number of Americans pursuing a college education has been on the rise compared to just a few decades ago. According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, the number of people 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher went up roughly five percentage points between 2005 and 2019. From 2005 to 2009, around 27.5 percent had a bachelor’s degree. This percentage jumped to 32 percent between 2015 and 2019. The increase in college degrees is not surprising considering the advantages this type of education offers. Learning more about the benefits of college, such as making it easier to get a job after graduation, can help you decide if college is right for you.
Why Is a College Degree Important?
A college degree can provide you with in-depth knowledge of a certain subject and teach you skills that come in handy for the career you choose. However, the benefits of a college degree go beyond academics. The college experience overall can offer opportunities to meet new friends, explore your interests, discover your passion, and enrich your life.
Should You Get a College Degree?
While not all careers require a college degree, getting one can provide you with important benefits. A college degree could be beneficial regardless of your career plans. The skills and experience you gain in college can help you in many other areas of your life, including your health and social life.
Top Reasons to Go to College
Why go to college? The following are some of the main reasons to pursue a college education. Keep these in mind if you are trying to decide whether or not to go to college.
1. Pursue Your Interests and Passions
Going to college allows you to learn more about topics or subjects that interest you. You might also have a chance to explore your passions in greater depth or find new ones. Spending time focusing on your interests and passions can help you choose a career path. If you have multiple interests or passions, college can help you narrow these down, which can make it easier for you to decide what you want to do for a living.
2. Sharpen Your Skills
When you go to college, you can expect to work on developing and improving certain skills. While the exact skills you learn can vary depending on what you are studying, some skills are provided in nearly every liberal arts education, such as writing, public speaking, and technological skills. You can work on improving skills you already have or discover new skills that turn out to be strengths for you. Some of the skills you learn in college can be used in different areas of your life, such as communication skills that you can use at your job and in your interpersonal relationships or technological skills that you might need in any job.
3. Challenge Yourself
Going to college gives you an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself. You might do this by studying a subject that you do not know much about or learning a new skill, such as a foreign language. Doing your best on projects, tests, and assignments in any class you take also allows you to challenge yourself. This can boost your self-confidence and help you make the most of your college experience.
4. Build a Professional Network
When you look for a job after graduation, having a professional network in place can be a big help. College gives you a chance to build this network. Talking to faculty, meeting alumni in your field, and taking part in events and conferences your school holds can help you gain networking opportunities. Your professional network can make it easier to get your foot in the door of a company you want to work at or find out more about what it is like to work in your chosen field.
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5. Gain a Competitive Edge
While you might not need a college degree for certain jobs and positions, having one still can help. In fact, your degree can provide you with a competitive edge that helps you find a job after you graduate. Employers might be more likely to consider calling you for a job interview when you have a college degree listed on your resume, even if a degree is not required. Having a college degree shows employers that you can handle responsibilities, manage your time wisely, and achieve goals.
6. Increased Salary Potential
When you have a college degree, your chance of earning more money increases considerably. According to Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), adults who have a bachelor’s degree make an average of $2.8 million, or $70,000 per year, throughout their careers. Those with a high school diploma make an average of $1.2 million throughout their careers.
7. Make Lasting Connections
Going to college can help you form lasting connections with others. In some cases, these connections can lead to interpersonal or professional relationships that last for several years or even decades. During college, you might end up making lifelong friends with people who share your interests and passions. These connections can provide you with emotional support throughout your life. You might also build connections with others in your field, which can help you in terms of your career goals.
8. Set a Good Example
Having a college degree helps you set a good example for others. Being a college graduate means you were willing to take on challenges and do your best throughout your education. From meeting admissions requirements to completing requirements for graduation, having a college degree shows that you were able to successfully face these challenges. This can provide others with inspiration if they are unsure about whether they should go to college.
9. Have a Longer and Healthier Life
You might be surprised to learn that having a college education could lead to a longer and healthier life, but research backs up this claim. A 2019 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that adults with a 4-year college degree had a longer life expectancy compared to those with a lower level of education. These findings held true across different genders and races.
10. Sense of Accomplishment
Earning a college degree can provide you with a strong sense of accomplishment. Having your diploma means that you were able to put in the time and effort to learn new material, develop new skills, pass exams, complete projects, and handle all other tasks required to graduate. Regardless of how your career goes after graduating, you can always feel proud of your hard-earned degree.
If you are thinking of getting a college education, please contact Post University. We have several degree programs available, including associate and bachelor’s degree programs and graduate degree programs.
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Please note jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries highlighted in this blog do not reflect jobs, career outcomes, and/or salaries expected from any Post program. To learn more about Post’s program and their outcomes, please fill out a form to speak with an admissions representative.