With the high cost of tuition and reduced availability of jobs, college education is more important than ever before. When making this critical decision about whether or not to go to college, it is important for students to understand the long-term benefits of a degree in addition to weighing their short term sacrifices. For one thing, when students get accepted into college, they are likely to find that the degree will pay out both financially and socially for them throughout their lives.
College degrees can lead to higher salaries than those of people who only obtain diplomas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “As of May 2012, about 44% of people ages 25 and over who had not completed high school were employed full time, compared with nearly 80% of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher.” One reason for this difference in employment rates is because college graduates earn on average more than $30,000 annually than those without a four year degree according to the National Center for Educational Statistics; furthermore, some professions require advanced degrees or significant coursework which further increase one’s salary capabilities.
Having an increased salary can help provide for one’s family, save money to buy a home or start a business, and even retire early. College education is important because it helps give students not only the skills they need to be successful but also makes them more likely to succeed financially in life due to the increased income opportunities that open up. For some professions, particularly those in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), employers are often looking for candidates with college degrees as opposed to high school diplomas alone. According to the Occupational Information Network (ONET), people who have degrees are “more likely than workers without postsecondary education to say their job is very interesting.” They define interesting as being mentally challenging work which allows them to contribute creativity and use their problem solving skills.
In addition to a salary, the importance of college education is clear in that it provides students with a network of people throughout their lives. It seems counterproductive to pay tens of thousands of dollars for an education only to drop out after one or two years; however, some students do not understand how much more difficult it can make transitioning into the workforce without having a degree. In this world where it seems everyone has at least one college degree, companies are less likely to take chances on applicants who have no credentials beyond high school diplomas according to The New York Times. They mention that while five million jobs were available in 2010, twenty-six percent of these required a bachelor’s degree or higher. Further, they quote the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as saying that “at least 40 percent of recent college graduates cannot find jobs that require a college degree.”
The consequences outlined above are just some of the reasons why it is important to attend college. Whether students want to go into professions that require advanced degrees or simply want an increase in income to support family or bring in more money at home, attending college will help them toward achieving their goals. Attending college provides one with not only educational benefits but also personal and financial ones which make it worth the sacrifices made during school. When deciding whether or not to attend college, students should understand what they could miss out on if they do not go; there are many positive outcomes for those who are willing to put in the work.