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Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Strayer University

Associate Programs
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Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Southern New Hampshire University

Associate Programs
Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Capella University

Bachelor Degrees
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Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Master
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The Chicago School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

The Chicago School

Master
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Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Purdue University Global

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Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Herzing University

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Post University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Post University

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Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Penn Foster High School

High School Diploma
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Grantham University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Grantham University

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Does Having a Degree Vs. No Degree Affect Employment Opportunities?

If you're unsure about whether earning a college degree is right for you, read on. Learn whether your employment opportunities will be better if you do earn a college degree.

The Effects of Education on Employment Opportunities

According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) in May 2019, 22.1% of all unemployed Americans are in the 25 to 34 age range. The U.S. Census Bureau, on the other hand, reports that in 2017, 11.1% of individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 were currently not working, a figure that was much higher than the national jobless rate of 5.3% at that time (www.census.gov).

Despite these troubling statistics, one demographic is holding up well despite the economic downturn: college graduates. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2017 that only 2.6% of college graduates were unemployed, far less than the national average. When compared with other education levels, individuals with a college degree were the only group that had better job prospects in 2017 than when the recession started.

A college degree, however, is not a guarantee. Your area of study will almost certainly affect your ability to get a job, according to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, nces.ed.gov). For example, only 1% of students with a degree in general education were unemployed in 2017. Conversely, those who choose to study the liberal arts and humanities have much dimmer prospects, with a 5.8% unemployment rate after graduation.

Important Facts About Employment Opportunities with a Degree vs. No Degree

Wind Turbine Service Technician Physical Therapist Home Health Aide
Required Education Some collegeDoctoral/Professional degreeNo formal education requirement
Work Environment On-site Healthcare facilities Client's residence
Median Salary (2020) $56,230 $91,010 $27,080
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029) 61% 18%34%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Openings in 2019 and 2029

The BLS reported in 2019 that the number of jobs available for those who held a high school diploma or equivalent was about 62.4 million. The number of jobs for those with an associate's degree was roughly 3.6 million and with a bachelor's degree were almost 36.9 million. Jobs for master's degree holders were almost 2.6 million and those with a doctoral or professional degree had about 4.4 million jobs available. The largest projected job growth for 2019-2029, about 16.7%, was expected in jobs that required a master's degree.

Job Opportunities in Top Growing Occupations

The BLS also reported on the top growing occupations for 2019-2029, with the report showing that most of the fastest growing jobs required some form of postsecondary education. Some of the occupations on the report that require a college education included physical therapist assistants, nurse practitioners, and statisticians. Some occupations on the list, such as home health aides, did not require a degree, making it a possible choice for professionals with only a high school degree.