When you think about someone with a college degree, you may picture them as the studious type who sits in the library doing research and learning about whatever subject they're pursuing. Basically, college degree holders are generally perceived as educated and knowledgeable about their fields. But did you know that an education isn't the only thing a degree program provides you with?
Correlation Between Earning Potential and Education
A degree can provide you with a better job and greater earning potential over time, which means that despite the rising costs of college tuition, the investment is still well worth it in the long run. According to a U.S. Census Bureau study called "Education and Synthetic Work-Life Earnings Estimates," education levels have a bigger effect on earnings over a 40-year span than any other demographic factor - like race or gender (2011). The study also found that the salary difference between someone with a professional degree and someone without a high school diploma was about $72,000 a year (2011).
Additionally, those with higher levels of education are much more likely to stay employed during tough economic times - especially in full-time jobs. A College Board report shows that during the recession, those with degrees had better protection from unemployment. In 2009, the unemployment rate of college graduates who were 25 and older was 4.6 percent, while the rate for high school graduates was 9.7 percent. Data projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also suggests that by 2018, two-thirds of jobs will require employees to have a postsecondary education, which means that those who don't hold a degree will have much more difficulty finding a job.
If a being able to obtain a secure, financially rewarding job isn't enough to convince you that a college degree is worth the investment, the College Board also reported that degrees can offer other lifestyle benefits. Researchers found that people with a Bachelor’s degree are more likely to volunteer, vote, exercise, health insurance plans and pensions. The report also found that degree holders are less likely to be smokers, obese, or have low-birth-weight babies. A college degree may not be the sole contributor to these lifestyle factors, but the report found that higher education can help people adopt healthier behavior.
If you want to make the best out of your life and secure yourself a promising future, there's no question that a college degree can help you.