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Will a College Degree Really Help Me Get a Better Job?

Are you satisfied with your current job? Do you have nagging “what if” thoughts about going back to college? 

You’re not alone. 

Many adults wonder if completing their bachelor’s degree might help them get a better job, become more financially stable, or have a better work/life balance. 

While more income is ideal, a “better job” doesn’t always equate to salary. It might mean more flexibility, added responsibility, more respect, work-from-home opportunities, or whatever gives you added personal satisfaction.

Sometimes It’s hard to determine if the benefits of a college degree outweigh the time, commitment, and monetary costs of going back to school. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind if you’re considering going back to college and getting your degree.

Income

The opportunity for a higher salary is an obvious benefit of getting a college degree. Here are a few statistics:

A person who holds a bachelor’s degree:

  • Is twice as likely to be employed as a peer with only a high school diploma.1
  • On average, will make $1 million in additional earnings over their lifetime.1
  • Earns about $32,000 more each year than someone with a high school diploma.2 

Career path opportunities

Many high school graduates work in the service industry because it typically doesn’t require a degree. The service industry tends to be less flexible and have lower-paying jobs that don’t offer as many advancement opportunities. A college degree opens the door to many different career opportunities and advancement. 

Personal development

While a better job may bring a new sense of satisfaction, getting a college degree also helps your personal development. A college education helps you think analytically, communicate ideas, and understand complex subjects. Organizational skills and self-discipline are also critical life skills that help in your personal and professional life. 

Stepping stone to an advanced degree

If your dream job requires an advanced degree, a bachelor’s degree is the first step. Careers that call for an advanced degree include nursing, physical therapy, and social work, among others.

Networking

Colleges are great places to network. You can network with fellow students, professors, and other experts in your field of interest. Networking gives you a chance to ask questions, learn more about different careers, and might even connect you to that dream job. 

People are happier when they’re doing something they love. This is true in a career and life. 

There are even studies that suggest that those who attend college live seven years longer than those with only a high school education.2 

If you feel drawn to a certain career or you’re looking for a job that will give you more flexibility, movement, or satisfaction, it’s up to you to create the path to that career. Ultimately, going back to college and finishing your degree is a personal decision only you can answer. 

To learn more, check out Jessup’s adult degree completion program page. 

Click here to request more information about the program.

  1. Abel and Deitz, “Do the Benefits of College Still Outweigh the Costs,” Current Issues in Economics and Finance, 2014.
  2. Trostel, Lumina Foundation, “It’s Not Just the Money,” 2015.
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