After finishing thirteen years of K-12 education, many people are too sick of school to think about subjecting themselves to another 2 to 4 years or more. The expense in both time and tuition dollars is often seen as prohibitive and not worth the effort. While it is true that pursuing a college degree takes time and money, there are many reasons why you will want to put aside more immediate desires and pursue a college degree.
Higher Earning Potential throughout Your Lifetime
When you think about how much money you can earn over your lifetime, the difference between having a college degree and not having a college degree becomes immense. According to the Department of Labor Statistics, people who have a post-secondary degree earn approximately $270 more per week than those who just have some college (BLS.gov, 2016). Over the course of a 40 year career, that works out to be over a $560,000 difference just for having the piece of paper. The difference increases for professionals such as electricians, teachers, pilots, and others. The forgone earnings are even more dramatic when looking at the difference between some college and a master’s degree or professional licensure.
Significantly Increased Job Satisfaction
Another big difference between people who view their employment as just a job versus people who think of their employment as a career is clear in the level of job satisfaction. One great example of this is found in the teaching profession. While teachers may not make top-dollar, they do have one of the highest rates of job satisfaction of any profession. They also tend to have higher self-esteem and better critical thinking skills.
Ease of Earning Your Degree
Historically the only way to receive a quality education was to attend a brick and mortar college, and for many trades and professions that is the optimal way to receive hands-on technical training. For many other careers, however, attending courses online makes school much more accessible. Many 2-year and 4-year colleges offer many courses online. For example, earning an online master’s degree in education has never been as easy.
Regardless of your chosen career, the satisfaction you will experience from spending your life in a job that you enjoy, that pays well, and that contributes to the benefit of your community, makes the time, effort, and money all worth it. By investing in yourself, you are making a positive difference in your life for the rest of your life.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.