The Importance of College Degrees

Interdisciplinary studies degree program

Many people these days will argue that college degrees just aren’t necessary; after all, what’s the point in paying thousands of dollars to get a bachelors degree or a masters degree when you can find a job without one? Many college degrees don’t seem to have any “real life” applications because there aren’t specific industries where you can find a job directly related to your degree. A communications degree, for example, or an English degree, can seem useless because there aren’t exactly any industries that provide well-paying jobs simply because you know English.

What many people don’t realize, though, is that a college degree isn’t necessarily a direct pathway to a job; it’s more of a map that allows you to choose from many different paths.

If you’re more influenced by numbers, take a look at some of the statistics below that explain why college degrees are so important:

  • In 2013, Americans who had earned a four-year college degree made 98% more per hour in their jobs than workers without four-year degrees.
  • If you choose not to go to college, you probably won’t even know how much money you’re not earning in wages. According to recent studies, these “lost” wages average around $500,000 per person.
  • College degrees are more likely to help individuals find well-paying jobs quickly, even if the jobs they find aren’t what they were originally looking for. In 2013, nearly nine out of 10 Americans with a four-year degree were employed.
  • According to Pew Research, the median income of an American with a four-year degree is around $45,000 annually. Workers with just high school diplomas, however, have a median income of $28,000.

Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t find a great job that you really enjoy when you choose not to go to college. For some people, 12 years of school was 12 years too many. But for many other people, going to college opened many doors for new opportunities that they would have otherwise never found! An English degree can help you improve your writing and reasoning skills, while a Communications degree can help you understand how to, well, communicate with others! Both of these skills are essential for so many jobs, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first.