Does going to college make sense? Will it expand my earning potential?

Does going to college make sense? Will it expand my earning potential?

While there is perhaps no better time than the four short years of high school in a young person’s life to fully “live in the moment,” they will inevitably contemplate what’s next. For many students, the idea that attending university is the best option has been instilled in them, from parents to school counselors—and for a good reason. College is an excellent opportunity to experience life away from home, make new friends, and hone your skills in a particular study area. Perhaps you don’t even know what you eventually want to do professionally. Or maybe you have many interests and can’t decide which path to go down. Attending college allows you to pursue various fields as you narrow your focus and begin thinking about your professional aspirations. With the hefty price tag of university, it is only natural to wonder whether it is worth it. This blog will examine how college can expand your earnings potential and why it is a worthwhile investment.

Many people have aspirations to start a family, eventually. Others want to enjoy the amenities and toys that come with the modern world. Either way, life can get expensive, and it should be everyone’s goal to optimize their earning potential. So how do you make your time more valuable? The first way is to develop a skill where you can provide a service that can be monetized. There is perhaps no better way to do this than to go to college. While college graduates often have less experience at first than colleagues without a bachelor’s degree, they usually receive a higher salary and earn considerably more over a lifetime.

Those with a bachelor’s degree are half as likely to be unemployed as their peers with only a high school diploma. While salary changes based on your experience and your particular industry, having a bachelor’s degree can significantly boost your resume. So why is this? We’ll look at a couple of reasons.

The most obvious reason is that it can help you gain credentials. Listing your degree on your resume gives you a leg up on your competition in the hiring pool for a job. Many positions require a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite, so failing to have one could mean you don’t even get an interview. However, it shows that you have the skills needed for your area of expertise. Companies are investing by hiring employees, so they need verification that their investment will pay off. One way to ease their concern that the risk they are taking is worth it is to hire from a pool of applicants with college degrees—those with a base skill level.

While training is inevitable for a new hire, employers are looking for applicants who already possess some skills in that field to contribute to the company’s growth more quickly. Spending four undergraduate years in a specific area of study can give you a level of expertise that is hard to gain without going to college. While at school, you will learn about the field you will work in post-graduation, and employers know this. To become an accountant, you won’t just take math or economics courses. You will also learn in college what is entailed by the job. Employers see a college degree as the initial training that they will not need to provide themselves. It is less expensive for them so they can pay a higher salary than to those without degrees.

A college degree is also a prerequisite for most advanced degrees, which often have much higher earning potential. To become a doctor, you must attain a bachelor’s degree before attending medical school. Similarly, to become a lawyer, you must go to college before gaining your law degree. A base set of skills and knowledge honed while being an undergraduate student is necessary before moving on to these advanced degrees. While these advanced degrees require a significant time investment, they can lead to very lucrative careers. That can motivate people, and college is the first step towards getting there.

College also allows you to build a strong network among your peers and teachers, which can significantly influence your earning potential. College professors are often hired because of their status in their particular field, which means they have essential and far-reaching connections to industry leaders. They can be an excellent resource for getting you interviews at companies or as a reference when applying for positions. Colleges often have excellent career resource departments that can help you work on your resume, connect you with employers, and learn best practices for interviewing. While these may seem insignificant, they can all contribute to how much money you will eventually make. 

Making as much money as possible is not everything, but it is an essential consideration as you think about your career aspirations. Perhaps there is no more effective way to increase your earnings than getting a college degree. At Zinkerz, we diligently prepare all our students for academic life after high school. This means helping our clients get into top schools, have incredible experiences, and eventually get the job of their dreams. It is such rewarding work to help students achieve their goals, which is one reason why we love what we do!

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