Five Reasons Why You Need a College Degree

If you’re thinking about skipping college, you’re not alone.  With the rising costs of colleges around the country, the shrinking of financial aid, and the latest student loan scandals, both students and parents are taking a second look about the costs and benefits of a college education.

It’s true that college is more expensive than ever.  But it’s still worth it to get a degree, either from a traditional school or from an online college.  Here are a few reasons why you should consider getting a college degree.

If you don't have one, it limits your choices.

There are plenty of examples of people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, who left college without earning a degree and are now making millions.  That does happen for the chosen few, but for many of us, a lack of a college degree limits our upward mobility. 

Many professional and business jobs require a college degree—they won’t look at your transcript, but they want you to have that piece of paper in hand before they’ll give your resume a second look.  For some careers, such as airline pilots, teachers, and law and medicine, you need to have a college degree before you can enter advanced certification or training for that job—but it doesn’t matter what your degree is in.  More and more employers are accepting online degrees, and online education is becoming the practical choice for many students in the face of rising costs at traditional colleges. 

College Graduates earn more.

According to the most recent College Board survey, the average college grad makes about $20,000 more each year than those with a high school diploma only.  Over a lifetime, college grads make about $1 million more than high school graduates.

You'll be taken seriously.

It might not be fair, but graduates from both traditional and online colleges are taken seriously more often than high school grads.  They’re less likely to be questioned about their qualifications and suitability for positions they apply to, and they have more opportunities in general.  With a traditional or online college degree, you don’t have to work as hard to prove yourself.

You are competing against college graduates.

For most jobs you apply to—particularly white-collar jobs in offices and professional positions—you are competing against those who have a traditional or online degree.  Unless your talents or background really make you stand out from the crowd, employers will usually choose a college graduate over a high school graduate.  You’ll have to work twice as hard to get noticed as peers who have college degrees.

It can be difficult to get a degree as an adult student.

If you wait to get a college degree, you may have a difficult time going back to school.  When you’re living on your own, paying rent or a mortgage, working full-time and supporting a family, it can be extremely difficult to carve out the time needed to get a four-year degree. For many adult students, online colleges can help a great deal.  Online degree programs provide flexible schedules that make it much easier for students to juggle careers, family responsibilities, and the demands of education.

There’s been a lot of hype in the media lately about whether or not a college degree is still worth the money.  And there’s little doubt that prices are rising and financial aid isn’t keeping up with need.  But for most people, a college degree is still worth it.  It makes them more competitive in the job market, and opens up more options than they would have without one.  If you’re considering going without a college degree, it’s in your best interest to think twice.

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