The career benefits of having a college degree

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How much more money can a college degree earn you over a course of a career? Simply put: a lot.

There are a lot of questions to ask when thinking about a college education.  A lot of people ask if the time and money are worth the return in their respective career fields.

There is a lot of information out there about the benefits of a college degree, ranging from higher income and better employability to job skill development and career advancement. With that said, here are five reasons why college is important and why you might want to earn a degree. 

1. Higher Potential Income
It’s well documented that, on average, people with a bachelor’s degree have the potential to earn more money in their career than those who do not have a college degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, on average, workers with a bachelor’s degree earn on average $1.14 million over their entire career. This is almost twice as much as the typical high school graduate and $339,000 more than what a typical associate degree graduate earns.

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2. Lower Unemployment Rate
The Pew Research Center conducted a survey that showed a much lower unemployment rate for people ages 25–32 with a bachelor’s degree than those in the same age bracket without a bachelor’s degree. In fact, respondents with a college education were more likely to be employed full time than those with a high school diploma (89% vs. 82%) and were significantly less likely to be unemployed (3.8% vs. 12.2%).

3. More Competitive in Job Market
Many jobs now require a bachelor’s degree or higher, and more people than ever are getting their college degrees. The same Pew study found that the percentage of people getting a bachelor’s degree has gone up 21% since 1965 while the percentage of people with a high school diploma only has dropped 17%. This means there are more job seekers with a bachelor’s degree than ever before.


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4. Improved Communication and Analytical Skills
A National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) survey reported that the top three “soft skills” employers seek are the abilities to work in a team, to solve problems, and to communicate verbally. College graduates develop stronger communication skills and learn how to think more analytically about decisions and problems.

5. Stronger Career Network
Making connections with other professionals can be a key way to find out about a potential job opening at a company or get a new job. While earning a bachelor’s degree, students start building a professional network—with classmates, professors, and guest speakers. Many colleges and universities have alumni networks and LinkedIn groups to help build connections.

If you’re still debating the importance of a college education, we can help you talk through the decision. Contact Cabrini University’s Admissions Office to discover more.

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