college degree

Grant Dennany on the Real Value of a College Degree

in Opinion

Getting a college degree is an important step toward future economic stability and career satisfaction.

Although many high school graduates may feel that going to college is not necessary for future success, taking advantage of secondary education opportunities is a way to ensure that you will live your best life. Grant Dennany, an engineering student at Purdue University, explains how college is a crucial part of reaching your full potential and how that motivated his decision to pursue his higher education.

Here are 7 important reasons why high school students should do their best to pursue a four-year college education.

1. Greater Career Satisfaction

Pursuing a job in their chosen field means greater job satisfaction. Using the skills that were sharpened in college means that an employee is more useful and more likely to be promoted in the workplace. Even when college graduates work outside their fields, they find that the critical thinking skills gained in school go a long way toward their career success.

2. Underemployment Doesn’t Last

While people with any level of education may be underemployed at times, taking lower-paying jobs outside their skill area, college graduates are more likely to return to full-time employment. With a wider variety of skills, college graduates can find new avenues to full employment that might not be available to those who did not graduate from college.

3. Better Networking Opportunities

Having a college degree means that graduates have a ready-made career network. Keeping in touch with friends, professors, and career center professionals can help any graduate succeed in their field. When a college graduate needs a job or needs support in their current place of employment, they can turn to their network. Even people outside the graduate’s chosen field of study can help in securing employment. Graduates of certain institutions are more likely to hire alumni than other applicants.

4. Lifetime Earning Potential

Researchers from Georgetown University recently found that people who graduate from four-year colleges and universities earn a staggering $1 million more over their lifetimes than those who did not graduate. This breaks down to $17,500 per year. This extra income will make it easier to pay off college loans and also to retire more comfortably.

5. More Likely to Own a Home

In a report by Zillow, 75% of all people buying homes were college-educated. This is a huge difference from those who had a high school diploma. They formed only 11% of the home buying population. It makes sense that higher lifetime earnings and more stability mean that people are more likely to buy their own homes.

6. Better Health and Longer Life

High school graduates may not be thinking about their golden years, but a study by the Lumina Foundation found that people with college degrees make healthier choices throughout their lifetimes. They are less likely to smoke and drink, and more likely to get a good amount of exercise. They may even live longer, according to the Brookings Institute, which found that a graduate’s mortality rate is decreased by 15 to 19 percent with each year of college experience.

7. Happiness

According to the Lumina Foundation, 94% of people with a bachelor’s degree reported a high level of happiness with their lives, compared to 89% of people with no degree. This may seem like a small difference, but it could be crucial to a person’s life.

The Value of a College Education

Grant Dennany believes that every student should seriously consider a four-year college education. Professional degrees like engineering are especially useful, leading students down a path to greater job security and fulfillment. Even if students work outside their chosen field, they are likely to earn much more money over their lifetimes. A college education is a solid investment that will bring a student a wide variety of benefits.

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