While roughly 40 percent of adult Americans have a college degree at the associate level or above, that leaves more than 60 percent of the adult population without an education beyond the high school level.
While it is possible to find a career without attending college first, a college degree can be the stepping stone to success, financial security and the chance for fulfillment.
If you or someone you know is still on the fence about the advantages of earning a college degree, check out these six key reasons.
1. Greater Earnings Over Your Lifetime
The higher your education level, the higher your salary will be, on average. An average graduate with an associate degree will earn more each year than a high school graduate, and someone with a bachelor’s degree can earn even more.
If one of your goals is to secure a career with an impressive salary, then a great place to start is by earning a college degree from a traditional campus or online program.
2. Easier Time Finding Employment
Having a degree prepares you for careers, but it also makes it much easier to market your skills to future employers. Even if you are capable of doing any particular job, you are far more likely to get hired if you have proof in the form of a college degree.
Many job application forms today are electronic and won’t even submit your candidacy for a position unless you meet their minimal requirements, which often include a college degree of some kind.
3. Opportunity to Pursue a Field You Find Interesting
Without a college degree, you might be forced into a job that doesn’t appeal to you simply because you need the income. If you want to secure a career that you truly find interesting, earning a college degree in a subject you love can be the ideal place to start.
4. Skills For Life
An important thing to keep in mind is that attending college isn’t just about preparing you for a career, although that certainly is a key aspect. A variety of college courses in your syllabus will prepare you for life by helping you improve your communication skills, your basic personal finances and your understanding of politics.
5. Better Chances for Your Own Children
Studies show that those with a college degree are more likely to send their own children off to college in the future. If one of your goals is to offer the absolute best for your children and your family in years to come, then earning a college degree may provide more opportunities.
6. Exposure to New Ideas, Cultures and People
Whether you attend college online or you take classes on campus, you will be exposed to a whole new world that is different from your own. Classmates might come from new faiths, cultures or countries, and you will be able to interact with them to expand your world view.
All of this exposure can help develop your ideas about humanity and broaden your horizons.
Clearly, there are a variety of reasons to earn a college degree. From job security to improved life skills, a college degree is your key to a brighter future.