Many high school students wonder if college is right for them, especially when considering the time commitment and cost that come with enrolling in college courses.
However, spending the time and money to earn a college degree is well worth it. Completing college opens the doors to better career opportunities, increases your earning potential throughout your working life, and gives you a chance to live a healthier, happier life.
Additionally, college helps students to form strong relationships, make connections with peers, and increase the chances of future generations going to college.
Better Career Opportunities
When you do a quick search of online job boards in a field that interests you, take a closer look at the requirements of each position. You will soon see just how many jobs require college degrees, and many potential employers give preference to college graduates.
The national unemployment rate in 2016 for those holding high school diplomas was 5.2 percent, while the rate for those with bachelor’s degrees was only 2.7 percent. Unemployment was even lower for those with master’s and doctoral degrees, coming in at 1.6 percent for the year.
When you have a degree, the risk of losing your job is lower. Earning a bachelor’s degree will make you eligible for better opportunities within your career field.
Increase Earning Potential
In 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that people with college degrees earned an average weekly salary of $1,156 across the country. On the other hand, the average among people with high school diplomas was $692 per week.
In a year, that amounts to more than $24,000. Over a 40-year career, that difference could amount to close to $1 million.
Live a Healthy, Happy Life
Studies have also shown that college graduates have better overall health and happiness in their lives. College-educated married women have an 80-percent chance of their marriages lasting at least 20 years, while the divorce rate of high-school-educated married women is higher.
Among men, about 50 percent of marriages last when the husband holds a high school diploma, while 65 percent of college-educated married men were still married after 20 years.
A study performed several years ago and published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that a college degree could also contribute to better health. Those surveyed reported having higher self-ratings of their health and lower rates of depression.
Form Strong Relationships and Make Connections
It’s tough to land your dream job without having some connections in your field. When you form relationships in college, you could get a leg up in your industry.
On-campus professional organizations can also help you find internship and career opportunities. Many college graduates also form friendships for years to come.
When you go to college, you increase the chances of future generations of your family attending college, as well. Children in families where at least one parent holds a bachelor’s degree are much more likely to go to college themselves.
A college degree brings many benefits and opportunities. Learning more about financial aid options can help offset the cost and put you closer to your goals.