• Chance Farmer

What Higher Education Can Do For You

With technological advances happening virtually every day and the needs of society evolving, it’s an understatement to say that today’s job market is everchanging. With that also comes the need to further educate ourselves to adapt to the times. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in education pays the best.”

According to a study by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, by 2020, 65 percent of job opportunities will require some form of postsecondary education – 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree, with an additional 30 percent of job openings requiring at least some college or an associate’s degree.

The growing number of jobs that require at least some postsecondary education isn’t the only reason to invest in a degree or certification.

A college education can also lead to better paying and higher skilled jobs. According to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017, the median weekly earnings of those with a high school diploma were $712, whereas the median weekly earnings for those with an associate’s degree were around $836. The median weekly earnings of those with bachelor’s degrees were even higher at $1,173, with master’s degrees at $1,401, doctoral degrees at $1,743, and professional degrees at $1,836.

Not only did the study show that the more education you receive, the more money you make; it also showed that the unemployment rate also decreases with the level of education one attains. The median unemployment for those with a high school diploma was 4.6 percent, with associate’s degrees at 3.4 percent, bachelor’s degrees at 2.5 percent, master’s degrees at 2.2 percent, and both doctoral and professional degrees at 1.5 percent.

According to the Brookings Institution, a postsecondary degree can also serve as a buffer against unemployment during economic downturns.

During the Great Recession, those with degrees saw more steady employment, and the majority of net jobs created during the economic recovery went to workers with a college education. Higher education can also lead to better career opportunities. While most don’t know exactly what they want to do when they first enter college, most people know they want a career that they will enjoy and find fulfilling. In addition to being trained in the field of their choosing, college teaches students skills that employers look for, such as communication, organization, self-discipline, and many more.

There are many advantages a postsecondary education can give you. Higher education is an investment, but it is one worth making in today’s world.

Chance Farmer