Is a degree still worth the time and money necessary? Do employers value a college education as much as they once did? Read on to see if a university degree is a smart investment for you.
The New Minimum Requirement for Employment
Burning Glass Technologies, a Boston-based labor analytics firm, found that more and more employers are using the bachelor's degree credential as a rule of thumb for recruiting employees.
The firm’s report ("Moving the Goalposts: How Demand for a Bachelor’s Degree is Reshaping the Workforce") said, “This credential inflation, or ‘upcredentialing,’ is affecting a wide range of jobs from executive assistants to construction supervisors.”
Economists refer to this trend as "degree inflation," and it is becoming more common in America's job market.
It's not difficult to see why this is happening. It can be easy for employers to reach the conclusion that degree holders are more efficient employees, since college may provide students with a greater ability to think analytically, and the discipline to see multiple tasks through from start to finish. These can be very positive qualities in employees.
Degree holders look more appealing to employers because of their increased knowledge base and broader set of specialized skills. Because of this, a degree holder can have more job prospects and a larger range of job options than those who have not earned a degree.
The connections you make and personal network you create during your time in college are also invaluable assets to future career opportunities.
College is a great place to build connections; professors, advisors, and other students can all be useful resources in your future. After all, the more connections you make, the more likely you are to hear about the perfect professional opportunity for you.
Protect Yourself In Tough Economic Times
Economies rise and fall, but regardless of the state of the economy, both national and international businesses need intelligent, educated, creative people who are willing to work hard. Having your degree can get you noticed, and will not only separate you from the pack in a good way, but might actually be a buffer for keeping your job when tough business decisions need to be made.
In addition to job security, choosing an area of study that offers practical skills continually in demand, like accounting or communication, can make you a vital member of any organization even when the market tightens. Information technology is another growing field with long-lasting potential for graduates. A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states, "employment in the computer systems design and related services industry (commonly known as IT services) was not significantly affected by the recession of 2007-2009.”
IT isn't for everyone though so still stick with a degree that interests you; just be mindful about the value you'll be able to bring as a result of earning your degree.
It's true, education can be costly. That's why it's incredibly important to select a degree program that is valuable for your future, and a university that has your best interests at heart. Most importantly, make sure you enter a program that you will be able to finish. Too many students have debt from trying to earn a degree, without the diploma to show for it.
College continues to be worth it because of what you get in return. According to research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, someone with a college degree is more likely to have a higher salary than someone without one. Degree holders are also likely to have more opportunities for promotion throughout their lifetime.
Of course, you shouldn't expect to see a full return on your college investment within the first few months of receiving your diploma; it doesn't work like that most of the time. However, if you are earning a little more money each paycheck because you have your degree, you may find yourself coming out ahead sooner than you think.
Since we spend so much time working, job satisfaction may improve the satisfaction we feel in our personal lives as well.
With a degree you can have the freedom to find a job in an industry that combines your personal passions with your professional skills, while enjoying the security of being able to provide for yourself and your family. For almost all of us, it's necessary to have a job. What a degree can do is help you find a career that fulfills you personally.
There are a lot of variables in determining if college is right for you. If you're ready to take the next step up in your career and earn the respect you deserve, click the box below to learn more.