A College Degree Can Pave the Way to a Rewarding Career

Reaching Your Potential by Earning a College Degree

When people graduate from college with a bachelor's degree, they possess a wealth of knowledge that makes them valuable to employers. Graduates demonstrate dedication and work ethic by achieving both a broad knowledge base and expertise in their field of interest. A hundred years ago, college was a luxury reserved primarily for men from wealthy families, but today it's more accessible than ever. Junior colleges, financial aid, part-time programs, and online degree programs make higher education possible for working individuals and those without college savings accounts.

In addition to opening the door to a successful career path, a college education offers a sense of personal fulfillment. Unlike high school, college allows you to focus on the subjects that interest you. Math people can choose classes where numbers prevail over words, whereas book lovers may decide to focus on the humanities. College allows you to explore your true interests while learning to think critically and delve deeper into subject matter. Whatever your current level of education, it's not too late to pursue a college degree and reap the benefits.

The Proof Is in the Numbers

People with bachelor's degrees consistently earn more than those with high school diplomas. Census data shows that in 2003, 27 percent of adults over 25 held a bachelor's degree or higher and enjoyed greater earnings than their less educated co-workers. The following average annual incomes reported by the U.S. Census Bureau show a clear increase in earnings based on education level:

  • $18,900 - High school dropouts

  • $25,900 - High school graduates

  • $45,400 - College graduates

  • $99,300 - Workers with professional degrees

On average, college graduates earn nearly $20,000 more per year than those who finish their education in high school. The number skyrockets again for those who go on to earn professional degrees after finishing college. Whether you decide to complete your education with a bachelor's degree or go on to attend graduate school, the increase in income can be significant.

Why Is a College Degree so Beneficial to Your Career?

The above numbers demonstrate that college graduates command higher salaries, but why exactly is this the case? College graduates earn more for the following reasons:

  • More choices: Because those with bachelor's degrees tend to be more qualified for many positions and industries, employers must compete to hire them. This competition may lead to higher salaries as companies try to attract top talent.
  • Skills for a new economy: College graduates are equipped for changing marketplace and improving technology. They are lifelong learners that employers trust to stay on top of trends and fully understand their industry.
  • Career advancement: Employers desire college graduates for a variety of reasons:
    • College graduates often have a complete understanding of the industry they work in, so they can make important decisions that affect the company as a whole.

    • Those with bachelor's degrees are often better equipped to educate incoming employees, including their own replacements as they advance up the career ladder.

    • Since college graduates are in demand across industries, employers must promote and challenge them to prevent them from leaving and seeking better opportunities elsewhere.

  • Staying competitive: As more and more people earn bachelor's degrees, the workforce is becoming increasingly skilled and competitive. Those with college degrees are equipped to compete in this marketplace, and usually beat out less-educated job seekers for positions.

    A college degree gives you a many advantages in the workplace, from increasing your chances of promotion to allowing you to transition into a new field. Because college graduates have more options, they are more likely to find well-paid work they enjoy.

    Online Schools Bring College Education Within Reach

    No matter how long ago you graduated from high school, it's not too late to pursue a college degree. Today's online courses and online degree programs allow you to continue learning without leaving your job. Many online schools cater to working adults, offering online courses that fit around busy schedules. The convenience of online education has allowed thousands of working professionals to earn degrees and expand their career options.

    Whether you're looking to transition to a new industry, advance in your current career, or simply continue learning, online education offers countless opportunities to expand your knowledge and skill set. Go ahead and explore the diverse paths in college education--chances are, there's an option that's right for you.