When it comes to education, you have many options in today’s society. Trade school, associate degree programs and bachelor’s degree programs are among the top three options for those planning on going to school to learn the skills they need to pursue a career. Some people jump into career fields right out of high school, skipping the college or trade school route. So why should you consider getting your bachelor’s degree?
The U.S. Department of Education estimates that by the end of 2020, two-thirds of all job openings will require post-secondary education. That means having a college degree will put you in better standing for a larger number of job opportunities. But the ROI of a bachelor’s degree stretches beyond this. Degree holders also have increased marketability and improved self-esteem.
Still not convinced that you need to consider a bachelor’s program? Here are five key reasons why obtaining a bachelor’s degree makes sense for most people.
1. Increased Earning Potential
It’s no surprise that when you earn a degree, your income is likely to increase as well. Generally speaking, having a college degree will heighten your earning potential. In a recent study conducted by Smart Asset using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, average annual income who held a bachelor’s degree was $59,124 per year compared to just $25,636 for those holding only a high school diploma. These income levels often go up with experience on the job. Over time, the income gap between those with degrees and those without becomes quite large.
Average income is just one way to look at this discussion. You also need to understand that degree holders are much less likely than non-degree holders to fall below the poverty line. Not only is your income potential greater with a degree, your overall financial stability improves when you hold a degree.
2. More Career Opportunities
Not only does a bachelor’s degree open the door to higher income, but it also provides more career opportunities, and some of those may not be in the field you study. In fact, some jobs do not care what an applicant studied as much as they care that the applicant holds the right degree level. Companies know that the dedication required to complete a bachelor’s degree and the wide range of skills attained during college will help in your career with them.
3. Boost Your Skill Sets
Some of the skills attained during college are invaluable to your future employers. For example, writing skills are often honed in the college years. Writing is important in many careers. You need to be able to formulate ideas and communicate them clearly using proper grammar and syntax. Sending emails, writing reports and even applying for grants are all tasks that require strong writing skills. Performing well on academic writing projects can be a predictor of your future career success, and a bachelor’s degree program offers a larger number of opportunities to try your hand at writing.
Another skill employers look for is adaptability, which may be one of the most important reasons to seek a college degree. People learn to be adaptable through experience, and college is a vital transition period for personal and educational development. It is important to be prepared for change in your career, so you can work in a way that is both satisfying and successful.
Not only that, but employers seek people that have leadership qualities such as enthusiasm, loyalty, charisma, and decisiveness. When leaders possess these qualities, it can help them reach their full potential, while inspiring fellow employees to perform to the best of their ability. Many employers value these soft skills just as much as the technical skills needed to do any job, and earning a bachelor’s degree helps you learn these skills.
4. Build a Bigger Network
As you pursue your degree, take advantage of situations that come your way to start building a professional network. Attend job fairs, participate in social media, and seek career development opportunities. Foster relationships with faculty members and professors, as they often have tons of connections, from colleagues in the field to former students, making them a valuable resource during your job search. Many colleges also have groups, clubs, and associations that you can join to expand your knowledge and meet people who have the same interests. This, then, will make your networking easier as you head out to start or continue your career.
5. Greater Self-Esteem
Making it through a post-secondary program will likely boost your self-esteem. Earning a degree is empowering; it gives you confidence and provides a sense of achievement. Even though you may change career paths, you’ll never lose the work that you put in to get your degree. And when tough times come, you know you have what it takes to start something and see it through to completion.
As an added benefit, many college graduates are not only well-equipped to handle mental challenges, but also report a higher level of satisfaction when doing so. Overcoming adversity contributes to increased happiness and reduced stress. This may be why bachelor’s degree holders report higher levels of self-esteem than high school graduates.
College graduates are also more likely to be involved in their communities. Although many graduates focus on their personal benefits to a college degree, the benefits to society are also important. Compared to non-degree holders, they are more likely to vote, join local organizations, and participate in educational activities with their children. Through all of this activity, graduates not only contribute to the community, but enhance it.
Greater income potential, more career opportunities and improved self-esteem are all reasons to consider getting your bachelor’s degree. Yes, it is a financial commitment and requires both time and dedication, but the rewards are worth the effort.
Looking at getting your degree? ACU Online can help you pursue an undergraduate degree program in a convenient manner and at a time that works for you. Learn from a team of professors who are industry experts in their field, and earn the bachelor’s degree you need to improve your financial and career future. Browse available programs now, or contact ACU Online to learn more about our online offerings.