College - What's in it for me?

Posted: August 22, 2016 11:00:00 AM CDT

Since this is the beginning of the academic year I thought it was appropriate to start with a discussion on the benefits of a college degree. I’m guessing if you are reading this blog you are likely a person who is either considering or has decided to earn their College Degree – Congratulations!

America has had a long standing tradition of valuing education, it’s part of our American Dream. A College Degree has traditionally been seen as the tried and true way to succeed, an opportunity to learn, to get a job, and make a difference in the world.

However, this school of thought is now being challenged with headlines that read, “20 Great Jobs Without a College Degree” or “The Best Jobs Without a College Degree, ” and even, “7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Go to College and 4 Things To Do Instead.” This makes the question of “should I?” or “shouldn’t I?” get a college degree much more perplexing.

Does a College Degree lead to more financial comfort? Does it provide job security? Are there benefits that go beyond the dollar?

What will my income be?

  1. High School Drop Out = $20,000
  2. High School Diploma =  $32,000
  3. Associate Degree  = $42,000
  4. BA or BS College Degree = $55,700 Wow!

Clearly, incomes sky rocket as educational levels increase. The figures are hard to argue, there is a substantial difference between an annual income of $20,000 versus $55,700. This equates to better housing, food, and recreation throughout the lifespan.

However, let’s not drop the conversation there, let’s look at unemployment rates. In 2014 those with a College Degree had 3.5% unemployment, high school diploma 6%, and high school drop-out 9%. Getting the job and keeping the job increase with an education. Job and financial opportunities don’t just last one year, they last a lifetime.

Additionally, you’ll be joining the cream of the crop. The majority of Americans do not have a four year degree, in Nebraska only 28% have this level of education. If you are, or intend, to be part of that 28% you are setting yourself to “be a Difference Maker!” – UNK’s slogan. In fact that’s where the not so tangible benefits come into play.

Student Thoughts

"Attending College is really the first big shove at opening the doors to life. You grow up in a town with the same people most of your life, and all of a sudden, numerous states and even countries are coming together all for the same goal of self-betterment. The friendships you grow, the education you earn, and the diverse experiences you encounter transform you from the young adult you are into the future citizens and leaders of America."

Heather Moorehouse

"UNK has provided me with many opportunities in my two years so far. One very unique one was this summer. I, along with the wrestling team, traveled across the world to China to wrestle and sightsee. I had an amazing time in China with some of my best friends. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that wouldn’t have been available had I not enrolled in college."

A.J. Hurtado

Abby and Dean Feinstein

"I think you really learn how to get along with people from different backgrounds, it’s such a wide array of people. When you are hear you learn how to work with a wide range of people and that helps you then in the workforce. Being in a sorority you learn to work with others, which then helps when you work in a group in a class."

Abby Vidana

Related Pages: Dr. Sheryl Feinstein

By: Sheryl Feinstein

Category: Education

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