In today’s extremely competitive job market, finding lucrative opportunities without postsecondary education is nearly impossible. One of the significant advantages of higher education is that graduates enjoy better work opportunities, higher incomes, and healthier lifestyles. Their communities benefit as well. Societies with higher numbers of people who have completed their education have lower crime rates and increased civic involvement.
You’ve heard that “education is the key to success,” right? Likewise, the lack of proper education is known to be the root of poverty. Merely earning a high school diploma may not be enough to break the cycle of poverty in your family.
- Do You Need A College Degree?
- 11 Appealing Advantages of Higher Education
- The Lesser-Known Perks of Higher Education
- How to Use Higher Education to Your Advantage
Do You Need A College Degree?
Let’s pop the big question— do you need a college degree? In the past, earning a college degree would give you an edge when competing for appealing job positions. Statistics show that one in every three adults has gone through the traditional 4—year university program to earn a degree. Self-glorification is hard when your degree only makes you one in a pool of other job applicants with “braggable” educational achievements.
Does this imply that postsecondary education is worthless? Will your time and money investment in earning a college degree pay off? Are these credentials necessary if you choose the self-employment path? Will the trouble of paying student loan debts equate to the advantages of higher education? The answer highly depends on your career aspirations and life goals. For most people, matching the skill standards required to work within various industries sets them up for success in the job market. Opting to further your studies may put you one step closer to achieving your life goals.
11 Appealing Advantages of Higher Education
Earning higher education credentials is such a crucial step in life, which many believe is an integral part of “living the American dream.” Pursue a college education, earn your dream job and salary, buy a car, buy a house, and raise a happy and healthy family. While the process of living large is not always this simple, it often begins with postsecondary education.
The idea is to open up opportunities by preparing yourself intellectually. Here are other compelling benefits of attending college that go beyond the promise of financial stability:
More Job Opportunities
A college or higher learning certificate gives you the right to access rewarding job opportunities that may have otherwise been beyond your scope of qualifications. Additionally, graduating from college opens up 57% more job opportunities that are inaccessible to non-graduates. According to 2020 estimates, about two-thirds of all jobs require postsecondary education. With a college degree, you enjoy enhanced flexibility when choosing where to work.
Furthermore, a college education helps you create a network of people who could make your job search easier. Research conducted by Burning Glass Technologies shows that about 8 million jobs posted online yearly require at least a bachelor’s degree. This number calculates into about 80% of all job openings that are advertised online. Without connections and proper credentials, finding prospective employers can be an uphill task.
For anyone to thrive in the current job market, they must build and maintain strong professional networks. The road to earning post-secondary credentials from internships to volunteer work will help you meet people who may be instrumental in designing your career.
College students have access to helpful career development resources and job fairs that allow them to put their credentials to work. When coupled with their professors’ and mentors’ support, give them an edge once they are ready to head out into the world.
The education, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), healthcare, and government services sectors are on top of the list of fast-growing job opportunities. Also, they currently brag over 80% of job opportunities with about 13 million available jobs for candidates with a college degree. Earning the right skills through postsecondary education will undoubtedly give you a competitive advantage in the job market.
Furthering your studies will earn you more than just the textbook skills to get a specific job done. Moreover, current employers search for candidates with outstanding leadership, problem-solving, communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills. These are all skills you are likely to earn through the rigorous coursework and experimental learning opportunities offered by training centers, including colleges and universities.
Increased Earning Power
Roughly 84% of Americans claim that higher education is crucial to get ahead in life. 47% of these people think higher education is essential, while 37% of them feel that it is crucial. About 66% of adults who did not pursue college education wish they had, and 62% of them think that their lives would have been better if not for the lost educational opportunity.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes one thing clear—the more you learn, the higher your earning potential. Without a high school diploma, your earnings could fall at around $27,040 per year. With a high school diploma, your revenues increase to about $37,024 annually on average—postsecondary education tags along with a significant hike in pay to about $60,996 each year.
In 2010, 11.6 million job opportunities were up for grabs. About 8.4 million (95%) of these jobs were only accessible to people with postsecondary education. This accessibility has highly contributed to the rate of unemployment. The rate stood at 12% for high school graduates and below 4% for degree holders by 2014.
Poor education is listed as one of the top nine causes of all types of poverty, including situational, absolute, and generational poverty. The above statistics show that people without post-secondary education are three times more likely to fall into the unemployment bracket and live in poverty. Investigations conducted by Pew Research Center showed that while the odds of college graduates living below the poverty line were at 6%, the likelihood of a high school graduate sinking in poverty was at a depressing 22%.
Career Entry And Advancement
In most cases, seeking postsecondary education will help you get your foot into an industry. The more you advance your skill set, the more employers will be happy to accommodate you in their space. When you are not sure about your career choice, finding your place within any industry makes it easier for you to jump ship in the future and pursue a different course and line of work.
Self-Improvement and Personal Growth
After a 4—year postsecondary education program, earning glowing credentials will open your world to more job and career advancement opportunities. Most importantly, the experience of furthering your education will be profoundly and personally rewarding. Besides, graduates attest to feeling a sense of achievement thanks to their polished writing, time management, interaction, critical thinking, and presentation skills.
Generally, postsecondary education is empowering. Mastering a new skill and creating a valuable network will boost your self-confidence, increased happiness, and lower the risk of depression.
Better Job Satisfaction
The pursuit of higher education may not necessarily guarantee immediate job satisfaction with enhanced marketability, more job opportunities, and career advancement options. You have a good chance of being happy with your job eventually. Research shows that while 57% of high school graduates remain stagnant in their career paths, about 87% of college graduates experience some form of growth in their occupations.
There are stark differences between the job satisfaction rates of high school and college graduates. While 60% of people with postsecondary education are happy with their jobs, about 57% of employed high school graduates consider their jobs to be nothing more than monthly paychecks.
If the promise of better job opportunities isn’t good enough, then perhaps the prospects of leading a healthier lifestyle and living longer will convince you to pursue postsecondary education. Research shows that people who further their education have a lower risk of heart disease. They also tend to prefer keeping in shape and are less likely to smoke.
The global warming phenomenon is real. With the drastic climatic changes we experience, climate change is a significant part of today’s conversations. Seeking specialized training puts you in a position to influence company politics and their environmental impact. The knowledge and ethics you master during college training will help you advocate for choices that guarantee increased sustainability.
Among all advantages of higher education, the societal benefits that come with furthering your education are perhaps the most compelling. Within communities where people are well educated, there is a heightened sense of trust and unity. The educated lift the weak, ensuring the eradication of vicious cycles of poverty.
Pursing higher education can also:
- Promote equity and empowerment
- Promote civic involvement and good citizenship
- It helps reduce the crime rate within a community
- Reduction of domestic and gender-based violence
- Reduce child marriage
- Reduce the maternal death rate within a community
The Lesser-Known Perks of Higher Education
Beyond better employment prospects and a higher salary, reports show numerous other lesser-known advantages of higher education. For instance, college-educated adults within family settings tend to nurture their kids better and spend time with them. They do this irrespective of whether they work or not.
Moreover, college-educated adults also enjoy psychological benefits. The health, financial and societal well-being stemming from their advanced studies gives them an unwavering sense of purpose. These graduates have appreciated involvement in political issues and voluntary work within the society. 56% of people with post-secondary education also enjoy better job satisfaction because they earn positions that keep them learning and advancing their personal and career prospects.
How to Use Higher Education to Your Advantage
As highlighted above, there are numerous advantages of higher education opportunities. An additional credential in your professional portfolio may just mean greater chances of upward mobility in your career, enhanced economic stability, or a better life for your loved ones. What is beyond debate is that the cost of lacking proper education is rising each day as the rate of unemployment increases.
Even though seeking higher education is a big commitment, the rewards are spectacular. Expanding your scope of skill will give you a greater sense of personal fulfillment. Also, it knockdown whole walls of obstacles that may hinder your career possibilities and a bright economic future. You merely need to purpose on taking full advantage of the privileges afforded to you by your credentials.
Graduate Incomes and Employability
Of course, a graduate’s salary is the most-measured perk of higher education. Reports confirm that pursuing a higher education often results in increased earning power. These reports are further supported by research conducted by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project in 2011. The study cites that pursuing any form of higher education can offer you a 15.2% ROI (Return on Investment) annually on average.
Higher education can give you 65% more earning power than someone with only a high school diploma. This percentage drastically increases as you achieve higher degrees and increase your experience levels in a particular field. Additionally, furthering your studies increases your employability. In 2010, the unemployment rate for persons with higher education was 4.7% and 10.3% for people with only high school credentials.
Generally, the More You Learn, The More You Earn!
Here’s the truth: the advantages of higher education are more than just monetary, personal and societal. If you want to enjoy these perks, there are numerous viable opportunities for postsecondary education, including options that don’t fall under the standard 4—year university programs. Irrespective of the choice you deem fit, your time and financial investment are likely to play a fundamental role in setting you up for success.
You are not too old to take your first step towards earning a certificate of higher studies, diploma, or degree. At the very least, furthering your education will enhance your odds of succeeding in today’s workforce, help you establish an enjoyable career, and make independent living easier for you in the current economy.