What Is the Importance of a College Degree?

If you're thinking about earning a college degree but aren't sure about its benefits, read on. Acquiring a college degree can be an important factor in improving your life for many reasons, ranging from better health to higher-paying career options.

Benefits of a College Degree

Obtaining a college degree can propel your educational and occupational career into new heights. Listed below are some lucrative degree areas, and some specifics about each.

Important Facts About College Degrees

Common Courses English, mathematics, humanities, social sciences, life sciences
Prerequisites High school diploma, or equivalent
Online Availability Fully
Possible Careers Cost estimator, teacher, software developer, graphic designer, technical writer, engineer, zoologist

Economic

According to the College Board in a report titled Education Pays 2013, 4-year college graduates over the age of 25 showed median earnings that were $21,100 more than the median earnings of high school graduates in 2011 (www.collegeboard.org). If you hold a bachelor's degree and work for 40 years, you can expect to earn around 65% more than a high school graduate over the span of your working career. If you're worried about the time and money it takes to earn a 4-year college degree, the College Board's report shows that a student who enrolled in college at the age of 18 has typically earned enough money by age 36 to compensate for both the four years spent in school and the typical associated tuition and fees.

The most profitable areas of study for a competitive salary are generally in fields related to science and math, such as computer science, engineering and economics, according to a 2015-2016 PayScale.com report. For example, the report noted that individuals with a degree in economics and 0-5 years of experience earned a median salary of $52,100. For those with 10+ years in the field, the median rose to $98,500.

Social

Another benefit of earning a college degree is the advantage you might have over your competition in the job market. Many jobs require a college degree and are not available to those who hold only a high school diploma. Once you find a job, you're more likely to enjoy it - college graduates reported higher levels of job satisfaction than high school graduates in 2011, according to Education Pays 2013. You might also find that you're better at networking and have more contacts to rely on as a college graduate.

Health

According to Education Pays 2013, 48% of 4-year college graduates were covered by employer-provided health insurance plans versus only 27% of high school graduates in 2011. As an individual with a college degree, you're less likely to smoke and more likely to eat healthy and make educated lifestyle choices. You'll also be part of a group that has lower rates of unemployment and poverty as compared to high school graduates.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

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

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Lincoln Tech

    Lincoln Tech responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Lincoln Tech:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

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

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Tulane University

    Tulane University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Tulane University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »