Do you sometimes ask yourself why a college degree is important? We have all been there. Whether it’s because you are rethinking your reasons for pursuing higher education or your need to go to college in the first place, we have all asked ourselves this question at some point in our lives.
It is a critical question to get answered because answering it correctly can directly affect your future. Today we want to take an in-depth look into the benefits of a college degree and to determine the value of a college degree, we will also be looking at career options outside of a college degree.
Is a College Degree Necessary?
Well, the answer to that question will be dependent on who you ask and how they understand the question being asked. If you ask a person who has a college degree and can clearly identify the benefits it has provided them, then sure, their answer will be yes. But what about if you ask a successful individual who does not have a college degree and has no intention of getting one because they don’t need it. Clearly, they would answer the question with a no.
Another way to look at whether or not a college degree is essential is, talking about the degree at the end of the journey, or talking about the journey and the degree? What we mean is, some people overlook the fact is that getting a college degree also involves going to college and interacting with teachers, students, forming bonds that will affect the rest of your life, learning valuable life lessons and creating foundations for the future.
Most people forget that college is more than a degree. Let us explain. Have you ever heard the phrase; it is not what you know but who you know? The phrase means that the connections you have are often more important than the information you have. College enables you to build multiple relationships with people in your peer group and persons outside of your peer group that will be highly beneficial to your career path in your future.
It depends on your future career
Taking a look at the question posed about whether or not a college degree is necessary, this is very dependent on the career you choose for your future. It is a fact that many employees need a college degree even to get an interview, but a lot of careers do not require a college degree. Yes, many of these careers that do not require a college degree are not as lucrative as those that do, but some are even more lucrative. It would help if you tried to plan your career as best as possible, even though things change and plans don’t always work out. That may be true, but if you can plan your career, you can determine whether or not you need to go to college.
If you choose to pursue a career that requires a college degree, then, yes, obviously, you will need to attend college, but what if you don’t want to enter a career that requires one? Even though attending college is not just for a degree, you can obtain the other social benefits from going to college in other ways. If you are active in your community or if you are a part of local clubs and sports teams, you can gain the same social benefits as you would by attending college.
Some careers that do not require a degree
There are many careers that you can pursue that don’t require a college degree. Many of us were taught that the way through life is to go through school for one-third of your life and learn as much as possible, then apply to be a part of another person’s company. Many persons have realized that they can live their lives in other ways by being intrapreneurs.
Entrepreneurship may be more successful in some cases if you have a college degree because you would have learned a lot from your degree program. Still, many successful entrepreneurs never went to college. Outside of entrepreneurship, there are many other careers that one can pursue without going through a degree process. Here are some of the most lucrative careers that you can pursue without having a college degree.
Home health aide
Average Salary: $25,280
Job Requirements: High School Diploma
Wind turbine technician
Average Salary: $52,910
Job Requirements: Technical school certification
Average salary: $35510
Job Requirements: postsecondary certificate
Average Salary: $42,820
Job Requirements: Postsecondary training
Landscaper and groundskeeper
Average Salary: $30,440
Job Requirements: On the job training
Average Salary: $34,800
Job Requirements: Postsecondary training
Average Salary: $56,640
Job Requirements: Company Training
Physical therapy aide
Average Salary: $27,000
Job Requirements: High school diploma
Average Salary: $25,770
Job Requirements: State-approved education program
Esthetician and skin care specialist
Average Salary: $34,090
Job Requirements: Approved training program
What is the Value of a College Degree?
This is a crucial question that is coming up a lot as of late. How valuable do you think a college degree is? This question goes hand-in-hand with is a degree important for a successful future? You see, determining the value of a college degree will let you know if it’s worth pursuing higher education when you think of the future you want to have. A college degree’s value can be determined in multiple ways depending on who you ask. Let’s take a closer look at the value of a college degree.
How is the Value of a Degree Determined?
We need to consider some factors when we are trying to determine the value of a college degree. You must know that the factors do not only include the price you will pay for college tuition.
Average and potential earnings
When you are trying to determine the value of your college degree or the degree you are thinking about pursuing, you should factor in return on your investment after you have completed your college program. Having your degree is one thing, but having a degree that you use to get a lucrative job opportunity is another. Some degree programs offer a high return on investment based on the average earning potential of persons in that industry, and there are others that are not so lucrative. Your degree is often used to determine what field you go into but not always.
Some people may study one thing in university but get an opportunity to do a completely different thing after school. Even though that may be the case, the potential earnings of persons in the industry of the degree they studied should be a key factor when determining the value of the said degree.
College Prestige and its importance in getting employed
The prestige of a university in some fields indeed carries a lot of weight, but this is not necessarily the same for all the fields. For example, if you are trying to get a job as a lawyer, studying at a prestigious university such as Yale or Stanford will look a lot better on your resume than if you studied at a no name university.
Fortunately for a lot of other industries, this is not the case. Having a good GPA to go along with your accredited degree is good enough for your resume. This is the case for most Industries.
This is the most common factor that people consider when thinking about the value of their college degree and with good reason. Let this sink in for a second, is the average rate of student debt is over $32,000 and rising. College tuition is not cheap, and everyone knows this, so it is only fair that you consider the amount of money you will pay or have paid for your college tuition when considering the value of your degree.
Even though college tuition is quite high, some financial aid is available for some students, so you should always try to get as much financial aid as possible once you need it. If you are in or attending college, speak with someone about the available financial aid, as this can significantly help you with your tuition.
Cost of Living for Students
One of the disadvantages of higher education is the cost of getting it. One overlooked factor when considering the value of a college degree is the amount of money that students and parents pay for the students’ cost of living over the period of time they spend at college. Most people only factor in the cost of their college tuition and not the other factors that affect their living conditions. They’re many other things that go into being a student outside of studying.
Students have to eat, purchase books and electronics, and sometimes pay rent. These are very important things to consider in the cost because they add up, especially over four years, and will be quite expensive. If you are a student, remember to budget as best as possible and try to save as much money so that your expenses won’t be higher than they need to be.
We will categorize college degree programs into two categories to better calculate your investment return based on the potential earnings you can make from a particular field. We are going to list a few common degree programs in each category.
Low-Value College Degree.
Drama and Theater Arts. A Drama and Theater Arts degree graduate can anticipate a median income of $35000. Even though this is in the low-income category, it’s not necessarily the worst, right? The unemployment rate in this sector is roughly around 5%.
Visual and Performing Arts. Graduating in the Visual and Performing Arts field will not be the most lucrative choice you make. The average income in this particular industry is roughly around $32,000, and unfortunately, the unemployment rate is a bit high, currently at about 4%.
Composition and Rhetoric. A composition and rhetoric graduate isn’t exactly going to be backing up the money truck anytime soon. It is categorized as a low-value college degree program because the average income in this sector is around $37,000. It’s not the lowest, but it’s not the best either. The unemployment rate in this industry is almost at 5%.
Linguistics and comparative, language and literature. A graduate from this degree program will face an unemployment rate of around 4% and an average salary of almost $40,000. This places them at the higher end of the low-value college degree category.
Fine Arts. A Fine Arts degree graduate can anticipate a median income of $37000. Even though this is in the low-income category, it’s not necessarily the worst. The unemployment rate in this sector is roughly around 5%.
High-Value College Degree.
Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. A Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering degree graduate can anticipate a median income of $90000. Some may call this a pretty penny. This field also offers pretty good job security. The unemployment rate in this sector is roughly around 1.6%.
Nuclear Engineering. Graduating in the Nuclear engineering field is going to be one of the most lucrative choices you make. The average income of an employee in this particular industry is roughly around $98,000, and fortunately, the unemployment rate is reasonably low, currently at approximately 1.8%.
Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration. A Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration graduate is going to be laughing straight to the bank with this. It is categorized as a high-value college degree program because the average income in this sector is around $100,000. It’s one of the highest degree programs available. The unemployment rate in this industry is almost at 3%.
Genetics. A graduate from a Genetics degree program will face a low unemployment rate of around 1% and an average salary of almost $86,000. This places them in the middle of the high-value college degree category.
Electrical engineering. An electrical engineering degree graduate can anticipate a median income of $99000. Clearly, you will agree that this is one of the highest income categories of degree earners out there. The unemployment rate in this sector is roughly around 3%. If you’re looking for the best electrical engineering textbooks, check out our post on that here.
What are the Benefits of Having a College Degree?
Having a college degree can be quite beneficial if used appropriately. Some people may find a college degree to be unbeneficial, but that is not the case for most. Let’s take a look at some of the beneficial things to persons who do have a college degree.
Better job opportunities
If you have a college degree, most of the advertised jobs with good salaries will be within your employment radius as they will require a college degree. Jobs that don’t need a college degree often aren’t as good as those that do.
When considering if a job is better than another, the salary is the main factor, but you should consider other factors such as work-life balance. Companies that post jobs that require a college degree sometimes give their employees more benefits and a better work-life balance.
Higher your chances of employment
If you enter an interview with a college degree on your resume, most of the time, you will have a better chance of getting employed versus another potential employee that did not complete their degree.
Most employers find that college graduates are more reliable, educated, sensible, and hard-working, so they are more willing to offer them jobs than persons who did not complete college. This is one reason why it is advisable that you complete a college degree if you want to become a successful employee.
Feeling of accomplishment
One overlooked reason, why a college degree is important is how it makes the individual feel after they have earned their degree. Earning a college degree is a journey that isn’t going to be easy, and completing such a journey successfully is going to give you a great feeling of accomplishment, which you deserve.
The process that you go through to complete your college degree is filled with challenges that you have to grow and change in order to overcome. This growth and change will build you into a better individual and make you more suitable for employment.
How is a College Degree Important in Today’s Economy?
There are many reasons why having a college degree is important in today’s economy. The keyword here is economy. When we say economy, the first thing that comes to mind is money. So, let’s approach the college degree from that angle as the main reason why you would have gotten this degree is to help you to earn money, right?
The fact of the matter is that some employers will not hire persons who do not have a college degree, and in addition to that, there is a ceiling as to how far you can go in many organizations without a degree. Suppose you are not seeking employment and believe that it’s best not to get a degree. In that case, remember that the information you got while studying for your degree can be valuable on your journey to becoming an intrapreneur.
Wrapping Things Up: Why is a College Degree Important
A college degree is important because it affords you the confidence to apply for jobs and puts you in a better position to get employed. Remember, college is more than the degree that you get at the end. The journey will give you many life lessons and growth that would be quite useful in your life afterward.