The Benefits of a College Degree
Recently, we highlighted a new study by Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce that found by 2020 the US economy will generate 55 million new job openings, and 65% will require training beyond a high school education.
For a generation with historic student loan debt, and with student loan rates rising last week, the immediate value of a college degree may be lost on high school students contemplating their next move after graduation. But, as the Georgetown study showed, a college degree will be more necessary than ever in the US economy.
But securing one of those new jobs that require higher education is just one of many benefits of a college degree.
You’ll Earn More
The numbers don’t lie. If you have a degree, you’ll make more money. According to College Board’s 2010 Education Pays Report, the median income for someone with a bachelor’s degree was $55,7000, compared to $33,800 for someone with just a high school diploma.
But possibly the most staggering figure comes from the Georgetown study, stating that degree holders will earn 84% more over their lifetime than those with just a high school education, and that gap will only continue to widen.
While even college degree holders suffered during the recession, it still wasn’t as bad as it was for those with no college education.
According to a Pew study earlier this year, 55% of Americans with a high school diploma had a job before the recession. In the two years after the recession, however, only 47% had jobs.
Degree-holders, however, faired a little better. 69% of bachelor’s degree holders had jobs before the recession, and in the two years after the employment rate only dropped to 65%.
You’ll Be Happier With Your Job
The same College Board Education Pays report also found that those with a bachelor’s degree or higher were more satisfied with their jobs than those with little or no college.
While the college application process can be overwhelming, and the idea of student loans is less than perfect, the long-term benefits heavily outweigh the short-term headaches.
Remember, college is about finding the best academic, social, and financial fit for you and your family. It’s important to apply to schools that meet your goals and budget. Check out College Navigator when building your balanced college list to get an idea of the net price for the schools you’re interested in! While the price of college may seem scary right now, the payoffs last a lifetime.