More Than a Degree: The Hidden Benefits of a College Education [Infographic]

At some point in your life you may ask yourself, "What good is a degree?" Although earning a degree often leads to a job and a salary, there are many, many more benefits. According to our infographic, college graduates report being happier with their work, and having a higher liklihood of learning new things at work compared to those without a degree. To learn more benefits of having a degree, check out our infographic below. 

Considering attending college and earning a degree? Take our Career Aptitude Test to find out what career is the best fit for you.

hidden benefits infographic, described in detail below.

Following the text on the page, we find an infographic titled “More Than a Degree: The Hidden Benefits of a College Education.”

The introduction at the top of the image explains: “What good is a college degree? No doubt, at least part of the answer is that a college education often leads to a job and a salary. A college education isn’t just a means to a career, though; it’s worth more than you think. Here, we explore college’s benefits that you might not already know.”

The top category in the information that follows is entitled “Employment Enjoyment” and has this to say: “With many Americans spending 40+ hours in the office each week, having a stimulating job is no small matter. College grads report being happier with their work, as well as having a higher likelihood of learning new things at work compared to those without degrees.”

The first chart in support of this is titled “Learning While Earning.” It focuses on workers ages 30 to 45 whose jobs require continually learning new things, and gives us the following statistics from a College Board 2013 Education Pays Report:

56% of workers with bachelor’s degrees or higher continue to learn while they earn.
44% of workers with some college – or associate degrees – learn while they earn.
32% of workers with high school diplomas responded saying they learn while they earn.

Just below this, we find a second chart labeled “Job Satisfaction” which reflects answers to a survey asking workers ages 30 to 45 whether they are very satisfied with their work.

51% of workers with bachelor’s degrees or higher said they are very happy with their work.
48% of surveyed holders of some college or associate degrees are very happy with their work.
47% of workers with high school diplomas, and only 42% of those with less than high school diplomas, are very happy with their work.

The next section, “Heathy Lifestyles,” considers that people with college degrees are more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising more and avoiding smoking – life-long habits that make a huge difference in general well-being according to the College Board 2013 Education Pays Report.

When it comes to exercise, individuals ages 25 to 34 were asked whether they exercised vigorously at least once a week in 2012. 68% of those who were four-year college graduates said they did this, while 40% of high school graduates agreed.

On the flip side, individuals ages 25 and older were asked about their smoking habits in 2012. Only 8% of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher said they smoked, while the numbers were 20% for those with some college or associate degrees – and 25% for high school graduates and those without high school diplomas.

As for “Social Mobility” (the next section on the page), the College Board 2013 Education Pays Report found that earning a college education increases the chances that adults will move up the socioeconomic ladder. This means not only improving your life, but improving the lives of your family members. The benefits college grads reap in school can pass on to the next generation.

Two different-height upward arrows below this text illustrate the differences. 31% is the portion of adults from the mid-range family income quintile who earned four-year college degrees and moved up to the top quintile between 2000 and 2008.

A much smaller arrow indicates that 12% of those without four-year college degrees moved up in the same time.

“Personal Development” – the final section on this page – states that “for many, time spent in college isn’t just about grades and exams. It’s a unique opportunity to mature, allowing students to learn lessons about life and themselves that pay dividends long after graduation.”

With a series of icons, we’re reminded that college is a perfect space for students to gain independence, confidence and grit; meet friends and build a network; improve writing and communication skills; and learn how to manage time and budget expenses.

The final panel on the infographic sums up all of this information, saying: “College offers students valuable time spent learning and growing, yet the often-overlooked additional benefits of obtaining a 4-year degree can affect graduates’ lives long after they don their caps and gowns.”

In the infographic footer, next to a logo for Rasmussen College, we find the following source information for the details in the infographic: The College Board, “Education Pays,” 2013


Jennifer Pfeffer

Jennifer is a Content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education who researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She is passionate about learning and higher education and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.


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chart-credential-laddering-rsd 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 181 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE icon-colored-advance icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-national icon-colored-prep icon-colored-regional icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play