Is a college degree worth it?

It’s a question you may have asked yourself recently.

But when you look at the data on skipping college, a degree makes a difference.

Most of the evidence in favor of skipping college is anecdotal. Stories from a few entrepreneurs who beat the system through hard work and lucky breaks. But it’s this information that is so misleading for so many people. They look at a few outlier situations and assume that anyone can do it that way.

The truth is, degree earners on average earn more than those with only a high school diploma. If you’re thinking about skipping college, here are five stats that may just change your mind.

Stat #1: 33% of Employers Have Increased Educational Requirements in New Hires

Today’s job market has certainly seen some changes. While job opportunities and growth areas increase with advanced education, it’s also something employers are beginning to look for in new candidates. More and more employers are raising their educational standards for what they look for in new hires.

In fact, 41% of employers are now looking for bachelor’s degree graduates, when those with a high school diploma used to suffice. At the graduate level, 33% of employers are seeking those with a master’s degree, when previously they would have set the standard of just a bachelor’s degree.

Stat #2: College Grads Earn $17,600 More Than High School Grads Annually

When it comes to average salaries, there is a significant discrepancy between the pay of a college graduate and a high school graduate. On average in Michigan, those with a college degree earn $54,136 a year. Someone with only a high school diploma in Michigan has an average salary of $37,495 a year. That difference of over $17,000 per year can really add up in both your current and future earning opportunities.

Stat #3: 28% Of Those With a Bachelor’s Degree Earn $100,000 or More Annually

For those between the ages of 35 and 44, studies found a strong relationship between educational level and earnings. A study from CollegeBoard notes that a significant number of full-time workers aged 35 to 44 who earned a salary of $100,000 or higher went to college. For those with a bachelor’s degree, 28% earn $100,000 or more. For those who have moved on to a graduate program, they take up 43%. And for those who stop at their high school diploma account for just 5%.

With a degree, your earning potential can magnify significantly.

Stat #4: People With Just a High School Diploma Are Three Times More Likely to Live Below The Poverty Line

Poverty is an unfortunate part of our society. Due to a variety of contributing factors and influences out of their control, many people find themselves unable to fully support themselves and their families, living below the poverty line.

Yet as it turns out, the poverty rate is three times higher for those with just a high school diploma compared to a college degree. For those without a degree, the poverty rate is at 13.2%. For those who have earned a bachelor’s degree, the poverty rate drops significantly to just 4%. Remember that there are certainly many other factors to evaluate when considering the poverty rate. However, as we’ve seen, a college degree increases your earning potential and may empower you to become financially stable.

Stat #5: The Unemployment Rate for Those Without a College Degree is Twice as High

A degree provides more job opportunities. Therefore, the number of those with a bachelor’s degree and without a job is lower than those without a degree. In fact, as of March 2021, the unemployment rate for someone without a bachelor’s degree was twice as high as someone who has earned their degree. The unemployment rate for those with just a high school diploma was 6.7% while those with a bachelor’s degree was 3.7%.

For an increased sense of job security today and in the future, a degree can help get you there.

Making the Most of Your Education

So, are you ready to jump into pursuing a college degree? As you move forward in growing your earning potential and career opportunities, here are some ways you can get the most out of this important investment in yourself and in your future.

Choose Your Degree Wisely

The benefits listed above are available to college graduates from many different schools and educational backgrounds. However, degrees in certain fields may yield even greater benefits. lists degrees such as business administration, finance, psychology and accounting in the most in-demand fields.

Get Work Experience in School

Particularly for adults working full time or part time while they journey through their program, applying what you learn in the classroom in the workplace can bring lasting benefits. You’ll engage with the curriculum at a deeper level, gain knowledge and application by learning from your classmates and move forward in showing your employer you’re ready for a promotion.

Education is Valuable

It turns out that, despite the insistence of some, college is still incredibly valuable. Choosing to pursue a degree can benefit you in the long term, bringing a higher earning potential, reducing the likelihood of unemployment and improving your career development.

Discover the value of education for yourself by requesting information about our programs today.

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