Making your way in the world as a young adult can be both exciting and daunting. One of the toughest questions you’ll ask yourself is whether you should go to college. Certainly, there’s a lot to consider, from the cost, to what you want to study, to where you want to study. All that aside, getting a college degree comes with many benefits, including these six:
1. It’s a great investment
Earning a college degree or certificate is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. No matter what career you enter, it’s critical to keep your skills sharp and develop your expertise. This can encompass on-the-job training, professional development offered by the employer, going to night school to study related material, and more.
The time and money that you spend, or that your company invests in you, will help you move up in your field and prepare you for a promotion. Doesn’t it stand to reason then that investing in yourself from the get-go and beginning your job search with a college degree already in hand will boost your opportunities?
2. It can help you can earn a higher income
It’s been documented that workers with more education have more earning power. Negotiating a good starting salary in a new position will come a lot easier when you can demonstrate that you’ve got some solid educational credentials. Depending on the requirements of the job, you may be able to begin your new role a few steps up the salary grid instead of at the lowest level.
And, just think about how your take-home pay will add up over your career. It won’t take long for you to earn a living that you can raise a family on. That said, continuing your higher education once you secure full-time employment is a smart move that will keep your income in the higher tax bracket.
3. It can increase civil engagement
Would it surprise you to learn that the more education you have, the more likely it is that you’ll vote? College campuses are great places to understand what it means to be engaged with your fellow citizens in making the country better. You’ll be exposed to different viewpoints and issues that concern your fellow students.
Having the chance to participate in related debates and lectures and being exposed to on-site student government can ignite your passion to be a more involved voter. Plus, the availability of voting centers at colleges and universities during elections can encourage a habit of life-long civil involvement.
4. College can light an entrepreneurial spark
College graduates are more inclined to start their own businesses. The resources provided through higher education and the chance to meet more creative and innovative people produce conditions that are conducive to new ideas. The example that positive enterprising individuals can bring is often just the nudge that a student needs to think about launching a new business.
Add to this the range of business-related courses on most campuses and the time offered to research and study the requisite skills, and you have the perfect recipe for entrepreneurship.
5. It can help you learn to be a good role model
Are you one of the first in your family to attend college? Maybe your closest friends in high school are eager to start working and settle down. On the other hand, you might come from a community where a college degree seemed out of reach for most people.
While you should decide to attend college for your own personal reasons, there’s nothing wrong with inspiring others. If your circumstances didn’t suggest college as a given, you’ll probably have to work for it. Your determination to get a higher education might be exactly what others are looking for to muster up the courage themselves.
6. It can allow you to pay it forward
Closely aligned with being a good role model and being more engaged civically is the idea of paying it forward. College students tend to graduate with a more expansive worldview. In addition to increasing their knowledge of what adversities people in their cities and communities are facing, they will learn about the struggles of other people all over the world.
Being subjected to these realities and the discussions that ensue with their fellow learners helps students become more compassionate. In turn, they’re eager to know how they can assist and are apt to want to contribute in some way while they’re still in school. This normally translates into actively participating in the communities they settle in through volunteer work, local government, and taking on different leadership roles.
Not only will attending college benefit you personally with more career opportunities and a higher income, but you’ll bring long-term advantages to your fellow citizens through your learning and newfound awareness.