Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a lot of news about student loan debt. Today’s students can no longer work their way through college in the hopes of graduating debt-free, and some students are considering skipping university altogether to avoid it.
These students point to some of the richest and most successful people in the world, who dropped out of college to start their businesses and create great things. However, before you put down your books and decide to avoid student loan debt by avoiding college, you might want to consider a few things. Getting a college degree is actually more important now than ever before in history. Here are just a few reasons why…
66% of All Jobs in the US Require a Degree
Failing to get a bachelor’s or associate degree will automatically disqualify you from consideration for 66% of the jobs available today. While you may be able to get around this requirement if you have enough experience and enough certifications in your field, the opportunities to gain that experience will be very few and far between.
Another thing to consider here is the waning availability of jobs that require no degree. Technology is advancing at incredibly fast rates, and more and more low-level jobs are being automated each year. Whereas, at one point, you could have hoped to enter a company in a lower position and slowly rise in the ranks over the years, today those positions are being filled by automated devices or by temp workers. There is a noticeable divide in skilled and unskilled labor, and unskilled labor jobs are dwindling.
The Job Market Is More Competitive Than Ever
On a related note, while the economy has been improving since the housing crash in 2008, unemployment rates around the country are still fairly high. As a result, the job markets across the US are highly competitive, and employers can essentially pick and choose between candidates as they like. If you want to be competitive for the jobs you want, you will need to earn a degree in a related field.
This is especially important to note as more and more job searches are conducted online. Companies require candidates to fill out applications on their websites and to upload their resumes digitally. They then use automated systems to pick out the keywords they want for specific jobs. If you do not have a college degree, your application may be tossed out before a hiring manager ever sees it.
Better Earnings and More Opportunities for Advancement
Recent studies have shown that full-time workers between the ages of 25 and 32 with bachelor’s degrees or higher levels of education made, on average, $17,500 more per year than workers in the same age range who had not achieved a college degree.
Not only is it more likely that you will make more money and have more opportunities for advancement, but young adults with only a high school diploma are much more likely to live below the poverty line than those who have achieved a college degree.
You can see, now, how important a college degree is to your success. While education has become much more expensive over the years, there are ways to alleviate those expenses (e.g., grants, scholarships, online schools, etc.), and the benefits far outweigh the costs. If you’re considering whether or not you should go on to college after high school, or whether you should take the time to go back to school, these studies and statistics should be very convincing. College degrees may cost more today, but they are also far more valuable than they have ever been before.