When weighing the pros and cons of attending college, one of the factors for many considering students is the cost of education. The total cost for a four-year college degree varies depending on where you go and what you study, although the average is around $23,000 per school year. However, it’s important to weigh that cost against the value of a college diploma. Earning a degree can drastically increase your earning potential throughout your career. Holding a degree can also make you eligible for more opportunities and chances to grow and advance in your career.
Increase in College Attendance
The number of people who attend college has gone up dramatically in the last century. In 1937, only about 15 percent of people ages 18 to 20 attended college, and most of these students came from wealthier classes. According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, 33.4 percent of Americans ages 25 or older have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, marking an increase even in the last decade, when the response was 28 percent.
In the 1970s, about a quarter of workers in the middle class had college degrees, but now more than half of the jobs available in the U.S. require applicants to hold degrees. Educated workers are more valuable and sought after than ever before since they can solve complex problems and work together with team members. Improvements and advancements in technology have also impacted the need for skilled workers since machines can do more of the repetitive, menial labor tasks.
One of the main considerations when deciding whether a college diploma is worth the investment is the money you can earn throughout your career. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average worker with a high school diploma will earn close to $1.2 million in his or her lifetime, while the average worker with a bachelor’s degree will earn nearly $2 million in the same amount of time.
This translates to a median weekly salary of $679 for high school graduates and $1,155 per week for someone with a bachelor’s degree. The earning potential is certainly important to consider as a valuable part of earning a college diploma.
During your college education, you’ll receive exposure to a broad range of topics, helping you develop critical thinking, form opinions, and improve your study habits and work ethic. These skills can put you ahead in your career and increase your potential to grow and advance. Employers want leaders with excellent skills and a strong work ethic, so completing a diploma shows your commitment to the education process and willingness to put in the work.
When you’re in college, you’ll form relationships with people from around the world, opening your eyes to other cultures and personalities. Research indicates that college graduates are more likely to live healthier lifestyles and expose their children to the importance of exercise and good nutrition. As a result, someone with a college degree is more likely to have a better quality of life and a higher life expectancy rate.
A college diploma certainly offers a number of benefits, making it an excellent choice for anyone who is willing to work hard and learn.