Attending college to get your bachelor’s degree is definitely a commitment, but the benefits you reap after earning your degree make the investment well worth it. Here are the top five benefits of earning your bachelor’s degree.
One of the most obvious and important reasons to earn a bachelor’s degree is it increases your earning potential. According to the United States Census Bureau, the median annual salary for individuals who earn their bachelor’s degree is $55,700 versus $32,500 for individuals who earn only their high school diploma.
Over a lifetime, high school graduates earn an average of $1.3 million, while bachelor’s degree holders earn $2.3 million in a lifetime. Salaries vary a great deal based on which field you pursue and what market you live in, but earning your bachelor’s degree is a safe and reliable way to increase your professional value.
2. Healthcare Benefits
College graduates enjoy better employer-provided benefits, specifically healthcare benefits, than non-college graduates. This is mainly because college graduates find better jobs than non-college graduates.
In addition, college graduates also experience many other valuable benefits, such as retirement matching, health savings accounts, and tuition, childcare and commuting reimbursement. These benefits translate into real dollars and often are as valuable to employees as take-home pay.
3. Job Satisfaction
It’s not surprising that college graduates experience more job satisfaction than high school graduates since college graduates find jobs that pay well, provide great benefits and offer opportunity for advancement. Those all play a key role in job satisfaction. Just as powerful, though, is the fact that most college graduates find jobs that interest them and play to their strengths.
As a college graduate you are highly marketable and suddenly a viable employee in a wide range of potentially lucrative fields. This differs greatly for high-school graduates who might never break out of entry-level, non-skilled positions. College also offers professional networking and career counseling opportunities, which help students find the field, industry and job that fit them best.
Most college graduates walk away with some very attractive qualities that employers are consistently looking for, also paving the way to multiple opportunities. For example, individuals who have gone to college typically know how to think analytically — a very valuable capability to many employers because it can be challenging, time-consuming and expensive to teach on the job.
Bachelor degree earners also typically know how to see a task through from beginning to end despite challenges and obstacles along the way. That is an important skill in a real-world professional setting where things don’t always go as planned. These are skills and attributes that employers expect from college graduates, which is why many employers don’t even consider candidates who aren’t college degreed.
5. Job Security
College graduates tend to enjoy better job stability than high school graduates. During economic turndowns, for example, unskilled, entry-level positions often get cut first. And during a recession, the unemployment rate is significantly higher among non-college graduates than college graduates. Two jobs that generally report the most stability are registered nurse and accountant.