College Investment: Going Beyond the Degree
There’s a lot more to a college education than financial aid, studying and taking classes. In fact, students and college graduates these days are noticing significant positive impacts in their lives from earning their degrees. Read on to discover how attending college can be beneficial for you.
Benefit No. 1: Discover new things about yourself.
Attending college allows you to learn new things about yourself, including professional skills, hobbies and talents.
While tutoring at Rasmussen College, student Angel Satterly discovered she has a love for teaching. If it weren’t for her tutoring experience, it is something she may never have known about herself. Since realizing this new passion, Satterly has found herself teaching a class at H&R Block where she currently works part-time while attending college courses at the Rasmussen College Rockford campus. She hopes to teach more classes at H&R Block in the future, and become an enrolled agent, which she described as the equivalence of a CPA in the tax world.
Benefit No. 2: You may become more disciplined and organized.
There are many skills you learn in college, including how to efficiently manage your time, meet deadlines, work in groups, sharpen customer services skills, as well as becoming disciplined and organized. These skills may not have otherwise been acquired if it weren’t for becoming serious about earning a degree and studying hard.
“Since starting college, I feel more like a business professional. I have learned how to delegate tasks, how to be a leader and how to talk to people,” said Damle Lee, a current Rasmussen College student and recent business HR management associate degree graduate. “Also, I am definitely more organized and am able to fit more into my routine and actively plan ahead.”
“Returning to school has made me more disciplined, and I find myself utilizing my time better,” Satterly added.
Benefit No. 3: Higher Earning Potential
College graduates often times make more money than someone without a college education.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, over 40 years of work, the typical college graduate earns about $650,000 more than a high school graduate with no college diploma.
In addition, as difficult as it may seem to find jobs in this economic recession, approximately 90 percent of those that have graduated from college within the last few years were employed during the recession in 2010. However, only 64 percent of high school students that went straight to work after college were employed, according to Brookings.edu.
Benefit No. 4: Opportunity for Job Promotions
Many people decide to return to school to finish a degree, start a new degree or work toward an even higher level of education that will help secure a future job promotion.
Supervisors often look highly at an employee’s degree because it shows the employee is serious about their job, willing to learn and meet goals, as well as take on new responsibilities, according to Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Fall 2002 issue.
Benefit No. 5: Allows you to have larger attainable dreams.
Attending college allows people to dream bigger than they may have originally thought possible – and the best part – they are steps closer to attaining those goals.
“Going to school opens doors – it has definitely given me more options,” Satterly said.
She explained since she’s a stay-at-home mom, she doesn’t want to work full-time, all year ‘round (at H&R Block she works four months out of the year), but her degree gives her the option. In addition, she is able to acquire a higher paid position at the company if she were to have a bachelor’s degree, which she is currently studying for.
Benefit No. 6: Job Growth and Stability
Even during the recession, college graduates have been facing a surprising amount of job growth and stability. Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce recently released data in The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm that said about 80 percent of workers who lost jobs between December 2007 and January 2010 did not have postsecondary education. In fact, during the economic recession recovery, jobs have continued to wane for those with a high school diploma, and jobs have instead been increasingly offered to those with some type of postsecondary training.
This, in turn, corroborates with the Pew Research Center’s findings that college graduates tend to have more stable employment, too.
Benefit No. 7: Job Satisfaction
There is only so much time we get to spend doing something we enjoy doing in a week, and a job should be part of that time. A Kansas State University researcher performed a study in 2009 that found employees happy and satisfied with their jobs correlated directly with better job performance, and employees were less likely to leave their job.
Fortunately, most college graduates are happier with the career path they chose than people who only have a high school diploma, according to the College Board’s 2010 Education Pays report.
“I took a lot of time deciding what I wanted to do with my life. I was trying to decide between nursing, human resources and psychology,” Lee said. “I decided on human resources because I knew I’d be happiest discovering new ways of leading team members, and the job schedule was what I was looking for.”
Benefit No. 8: There’s help for you from the day you decide to go to college.
You may be experiencing something completely new if you haven’t attended college before, or you may be confused about where to start if you’re returning to school; however, you’re not alone.
“I knew I wanted to attend an online college and was looking around. I chose Rasmussen College because there was also a physical location nearby and I liked having that option,” Satterly said. “Now, I’m even happier I made that decision because I’ve realized the college has so many [different avenues to] help students; they made it easy to go back to school.”
“I’m very self-motivated and haven’t needed much support, but the good thing is I know it’s there if I need it,” Lee said.
An added bonus? There are career service advisors that are available to help assist students when they begin their job search. Some of that help includes reviewing cover letter and resumes, as well as interview tips.