5 Surprising Benefits of Getting a College Degree
New students often come to my office with a new sense of anticipation and excitement. And with good reason—they’re embarking on a new adventure, a new life, and the possibility of a career with great rewards. But as exciting as the chance of a new career is, studies show that their decision to enroll in college provides some lesser-known benefits. Some might be considered just as important as the opportunity for a professional career and more money. Some are priceless.
Here are just a few benefits of getting a college degree:
Your earnings could increase
- A study in the American Economic Review shows that workers who have completed a four-year college degree earn up to 16% more than workers who don’t have secondary degrees. Forbes even stated that those with college degrees earn up to $400 more per week than those without a degree. Who couldn’t use a few extra hundred dollars a week?
You’ll have better career opportunities
- Having a college degree opens the door to promotions and opportunities that just aren’t available to those without a degree. The academic, professional and personal skills developed during your years of college can help you stand out in the competitive sea of job applicants and peers up for the same job or promotion. In addition to the better career opportunities a college degree brings, it will also benefit your family. These jobs will likely come with employment benefits such as healthcare, retirement investment, travel and other perks. Look at a college degree as an investment in the future of you and your family.
You may become less likely to get sick
- Not only could you be earning more, but studies like the “It’s Not Just The Money” find that college graduates report having “good” or “very good” health 44% more than their non-graduate peers do. Additionally, not only are you less likely to get sick as a college graduate but the quality of life, in general, has been proven to increase as well. College graduates are less likely to smoke and more likely to wear a seatbelt, exercise, see a doctor regularly, volunteer, and even live longer.
Your work happiness could increase
- Wealth, health, and a job you love—with a college degree in a field you’re passionate about, you could join the 51% of U.S. workers who reported being satisfied with their jobs in 2015. You’re more likely to enjoy your job as a college graduate. The higher income, employment benefits, and advancement opportunities that come from a college degree all lead to better job satisfaction. In addition, a college degree also gives you the freedom and flexibility to pursue a career that truly interests and inspires you.
You’ll be less likely to be unemployed
- If you’re still weighing the pros and cons of earning a college degree, think about this; college graduates are less likely to be unemployed. Studies show that people with only a high school diploma are more than twice as likely to be unemployed than their happy, better-paid, healthy college-graduate counterparts. Plus the unique set of skills developed in college make you invaluable to a company in the event of layoffs.
When my new students come into my office, I tell them that I’m as excited as they are—enrolling in college was such an important step toward the future they envision for themselves, with a few extra bonuses along the way.
Tana Sanderson is the Director of Admissions for California College San Diego. With 18 years of higher education administration and classroom experience, she has served as the chief operational, academic and business officer for both non-profit and proprietary colleges. As a past Dean and Regional Director, she provided direction and leadership, managed the financial aid, academics, career services, distance education, and admissions departments. She has a Master of Science degree in Communications and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from San Diego State University. She has doctoral coursework in business. Tana is a native San Diegan.