A crowd of college students at the 2007 Pittsburgh University Commencement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the biggest concerns among young people today is personal finance. With the cost of living increasing, it’s harder than ever for U.S. citizens to comfortably make ends meet. Given that the cost of college tuition continues to rise, some young adults believe skipping college may make the most financial sense. However, obtaining a college degree remains integral to the future of your financial stability. Here are six reasons why you simply can’t afford to skip college.
You’ll Have More Job Security
With a college degree, you can ensure greater work security throughout your life by possessing the necessary knowledge and skills to make you an indispensable part of the workforce. Studies show that college graduates between the ages of 25 and 32 have a significantly lower rate of unemployment at only 3.8 percent. This compares to 12.2 percent for high school graduates.
Additionally, college grads have a higher rate of full-time employment at 89 percent, compared to 82 percent for high school graduates. Of those with a high school diploma or less, nearly 22 percent are living below the poverty line, compared to only 6 percent of college graduates. Having a college degree will make you more desirable in the workforce, thereby increasing your chances of employment.
You’ll Earn More Money
On average, people with only a high school diploma earn roughly $1.3 million within their lifetime. Those with a college degree earn almost twice that at $2.3 million, with doctorate holders accruing around $3.3 million in their lifetime. Keep in mind that college is an investment, and, as with any investment, it’s important to invest wisely by picking an appropriate field of study.
Engineers tend to have the highest average salaries, followed by those majoring in finance or computer science. Those with liberal arts degrees tend to make, on average, below $1 million per year. Nursing informatics programs are a rapidly emerging educational prospect that offer stable salaries and excellent employee benefits, with median salaries around $88,000 per year.
You’ll Be More Marketable
Interviewing for jobs is an intimidating experience. However, when you possess marketable skills such as a college degree, it gives you greater leverage when finding a job. A college degree will make you look more intelligent and capable, allowing you greater potential to negotiate higher starting salaries than you could with only a high school diploma.
This is especially true if you upgrade your education once you already have a job in your desired field. It is now possible to earn your bachelor’s degree, find a job, and then take online courses to attain your master’s or doctorate degree. Once you have a graduate degree, your job prospects grow exponentially and since you can go back to school in your spare time while working during the day, you can avoid the debt load that often goes along with advanced degrees. Because of this option, you can continually improve your career prospects and will never end up stuck in a job that you do not enjoy.
You’ll Be Eligible for Better Benefits
The better a job you are able to land, the better benefits will likely accompany it. Those with only high school diplomas are less likely to receive full-time employment, and are therefore less likely to receive benefits such as healthcare, dental care, and a matching 401(k).
You’ll Rise in the Workplace More Rapidly
College graduates become eligible for promotion at a higher rate than people with only a high school diploma. Additionally, roughly 86 percent of college graduates between the ages of 25 and 32 report that their current job has the potential to become a long-term career. This compares to only 57 percent of high school graduates.
You’ll Be Wiser in the Realm of Investing
Those with more advanced education tend to possess higher critical thinking abilities and make smarter investing choices. Additionally, having a wider range of jobs available to you will allow you to choose a job with a matching 401(k), which will greatly improve your investing potential.
While many young adults are worried about the debt they may accrue with college, research emphatically shows that, even incorporating debt, college graduates experience more financial security than those with a high school diploma. If you are concerned about your current or future economic situation, then obtaining advanced education in a stable field of study is critical. It will pave the way for more job prospects, better job benefits, and increased wages throughout your life.