Many jobs and positions are advertised as “college preferred” which means a college degree is helpful but not mandatory. However, many careers require a college degree and others require education beyond a four-year degree. Some occupations require a license to practice, professional certification or a graduate degree.
Individuals earning a bachelor’s or higher degrees have many more career and job options.
Better Opportunities for Career Advancement
Career advancement and promotions are based on multiple factors, however, having a bachelor’s degree can be a major factor. Employers often view a college educated employee as someone who is motivated to learn, able to meet deadlines and has problem solving and communication skills. Many management and administrative positions require a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Earnings are based on the selection of a college major, work ethic, competency and education. Individuals with bachelors or higher degrees traditionally earn more than individuals in careers that do not hold those degrees. Degreed individuals are also less likely to be unemployed. Some occupations pay much higher salaries than others. Career and salary information can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov/opub. The "Occupational Outlook Handbook" can be found under "Major Publications" and under "Latest Publications" the "Career Guide" section for employment data.
Also, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 2008 Report a person with a bachelor’s degree earns an average of $60,954 a year while an individual with a high school diploma earns $33,618 per year. Over a lifetime of 45 years of work, high school graduates can expect to earn $1.5 million while those with a bachelor’s degree earn on average $2.7 million.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey
Respect and a Better Quality of Life
Individuals with college degrees are more likely to be engaged in the life of their communities and have leadership roles. Officials and community board members are more likely to have college degrees. However, the education that comes with a college degree also gives a person a wealth of knowledge in the arts, history, psychology, science and many other areas which enrich a person’s life. Education is important for career development but also for developing a lifestyle that is unique for each person’s happiness.
College and Networking
Many college graduates state that the greatest benefit of their college degree is the expansion of their network of friends and the new experiences gained by association with new friends and people on their respective campuses. They say their new social network is a great value in gaining jobs, in career advancement and in personal growth.
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