You’ve probably heard that it takes a lot of education to get a good job. It can take years to get a college degree, and even longer if you want to pursue higher level degrees like a Masters or PhD. Not only do college degrees cost money and require time, they also signal to potential employers that you have certain skills and intellectual curiosity. So should you strive for a college degree? To answer this question, we need to look at the correlation between getting a college degree and having a higher paying job.
It’s no secret that college degrees open the door to better jobs. This is especially true when it comes to the professions that are considered well-paying, such as doctors, engineers and attorneys. With a degree, you can expect much higher pay than when you don’t have one. It’s very simple – the fewer skills you have to offer employers, the more of a degree you will need. So if you’re currently unemployed or underemployed, you might not be able to get by on just a high school diploma anymore.
College degrees are becoming more and more necessary throughout the entire world. Even in Canada – once considered an industrialized country capable of employing unskilled workers from anywhere in the world – we’ve started feeling the effects of this revolution. The only people getting some truly well-paying blue-collar jobs are applicants or applicants with work experience using their hands (plumbing and carpentry for example).
A college degree is a great way to get a good job and make lots of money. But over the past 25 years, the costs of college have risen dramatically. The average tuition at a 4-year public university has sky-rocketed 128 percent since 1990 and 165 percent at private colleges. This has led many students questioning whether they should go to college or not.
A college degree is not required to get a good job, but it does make a difference. A college degree can open the door to many careers that otherwise would be closed.
About 30% of all jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And the average weekly earnings for full-time employees with a bachelor’s degree were $1,096 in 2012, compared with $746 for those with just a high school diploma.*
But is having a college degree necessary to get a job? Not necessarily. People with college degrees can still have trouble finding work in this economy. Employers have become more selective in recent years, and some jobs that once required just a high school diploma now require an associate’s or even bachelor’s degree.
What are the benefits of having a college education?
Having a college education opens doors that might otherwise be closed and increases earning power over time. According to the BLS, high school graduates who don’t go on to college earn on average $733 per week, while those who have earned an associate’s, bachelor’s or graduate degree make $1,212, $1,521 and $2,263 per week respectively
A college degree doesn’t guarantee a good job, but it is necessary for many of the higher-paying jobs. A 2015 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that people with college degrees are more likely to have a job than those without degrees. The study also showed that educational attainment is strongly correlated with income — high income earners are more likely to have a college degree than low-income earners.
Most people know that a college degree is needed for high-paying jobs, but they don’t realize how much of an advantage it gives them. You can use this knowledge to persuade someone who doesn’t want to go to school because they don’t think they’ll get a good job afterward.
Nearly 20% of all jobs in the U.S. require a college degree, but it’s not just any old college degree that’ll get you hired for those jobs.
The most popular degrees for hiring managers are business administration, computer science and engineering. But those who have specialized degrees like an MBA or a certificate in engineering management are more likely to get a job offer than candidates with broader liberal arts degrees.
The takeaway? If you’re going back to school, focus on fields where there is high demand and low supply, like technology and business. And don’t just take “any” business degree — look for an MBA program with heavy training in leadership and project management skills that will make you a better candidate for top positions within your field.
While it may be a bit of an exaggeration to say that a college degree is now unnecessary, there is some truth to the claim. With the right skills, education can be obtained without spending four years in college. In fact, many online courses are available that offer educational opportunities at little or no cost. By making an effort to learn new skills and improve on old ones while in high school, a college degree may no longer be necessary for a well-paying career.
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