Make Higher Education an Essential Goal Rather than a Desired New Year’s Resolution

throwing graduation cap into sunsetEach year, we make promises to ourselves that we can’t always keep. We make them in the first place because we recognize their value or have been advised by the people we trust to reach certain goals. Although it’s ultimately our decision to follow through with the promises we make to ourselves and to others, attaining higher education is not something that should fall to the wayside.

If you’re considering going back to school, know that the benefits definitely outweigh the costs. In the short and long run, an education will benefit you personally and professionally in the following ways:

Higher Income

It’s a fact that earning a higher education will directly translate to your earnings. Furthermore, this is the main reason why people continue their education. According to the US Census Bureau’s most recent report, Work-Life Earnings by Field of Degree and Occupation for People With a Bachelor’s Degree: 2011, “how far one goes in school can mean a difference of about $3.2 million.”

Even within the first level of post-secondary education – the bachelor’s degree – “what one chooses to study in college and the careers pursued after college can also mean a difference of $2.8 million.” Having that in mind, projected incomes continue to increase with a master’s and doctoral degree.

Reduce Your Risk of Unemployment

Aside from expanding your personal knowledge, people with college degrees are more likely to be employed throughout their lives, creating the groundwork for a stable career. Although there are currently high unemployment rates across the country, bachelor degree holders are still better off than those who only have a high school diploma.

According to “Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020,” a report released by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, “most jobs will require some type of post-secondary education, and individuals that only possess a high school diploma will have fewer employment options.”

Enhanced Well-being

Having a college degree makes life easier in a number of ways. For instance, most individuals who have a college degree are able to save more money and hold assets like homes, cars, and investments. They’re also more likely to work in environments that are not physically taxing and hazardous to his or her health. Since we spend a majority of our lives working, attaining higher education is one way to ensure that our jobs do not significantly decrease our quality of life.

Personal Development

Since the willingness to further your education is mostly driven by the need to prepare for jobs and a career, education shapes our personal development. Along with whatever you choose to specialize in, college teaches us general life skills that contribute to one’s maturity and ability to handle their lives on their own. It’s also about learning how to get along with others, building the framework necessary for effective problem-solving, leadership and teamwork skills.

Increased Job Satisfaction

Although having more job opportunities increases your chances for economic stability, people with college educations tend to feel more satisfaction in the workplace. For instance, they’re typically eligible for jobs that concede more freedom and are given responsibilities that evoke meaning.

Being satisfied with your job promotes higher self-esteem and confidence, as you’re typically tasked with solving problems and handling major decisions. Simply put, we grow the most when we are challenged, and having a college degree will help you obtain opportunities that continuously test your capabilities.

Ample Networking Opportunities

Attaining higher education also provides a plethora of opportunities for networking. Whether that’s the professors who mentor you throughout your major, your internship supervisors, or even classmates who have helped you with projects – each and every one of them are valuable resources! Being immersed in an educational environment is the breeding ground for connections you’ll need later on in life.

Set the Precedent for Your Children

Having a post-secondary degree will increase the chances of your children going to college and possessing higher cognitive development. Since we always want one generation to do better than the previous one, making education a priority in your family will help your children take it seriously when the time comes.

Choosing Your Major Wisely

Once you solidify your decision to go back to school, make sure to choose a major that will benefit you in the immediate future. Due to our rapidly changing economy, where the major focus is on STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), prospective students need to choose a major that they’re not only passionate about, but one that also has a high potential for immediate return. Your other alternative would be to pick two complementary majors as a means to expand the breadth and depth of your skill set.

According to 2013 research conducted by Georgetown Policy Institute, here’s where popular majors stack up against unemployment rates in our current economy:

Majors with lowest unemployment:

  • Nursing, 4.8%
  • Elementary Education, 5%
  • Physical Fitness, Parks & Rec, 5.2%
  • Chemistry, 5.8%
  • Finance, 5.9&

Majors with highest unemployment:

  • Information Systems, 14.7%
  • Architecture, 12.8%
  • Anthropology, 12.6%
  • Film, Video & Photography Arts, 11.4%
  • Political Science, 11.1%

Prepare Yourself for a Lifetime of Learning

It is clear that higher education is essential to remaining competitive in our global economy. Where getting a college degree used to be all that you needed to get a job, nowadays, post-secondary education should be used as the initial opportunity to prepare you for a lifetime of learning. The habits you develop in college will affect your willingness and ability to continuously refine or add new skills. In sum, pursuing your education head on will help you understand how to plan the development of your expertise.

Applying to Florida National University

Florida National University (FNU) has a diverse student body. Regardless if you’re a first time student, an adult returning to school and everything else in between, our counselors are prepared to help you create a plan that meets your personal and professional objectives. For more information on admission requirements and applications, call 305-821-3333 ext. 3 or visit online at www.fnu.edu.

References

Alt, G. (2014, January 23). 3 reasons to get started on education planning in 2014. Retrieved from http://www.pleasantonweekly.com/news/2014/01/21/3-reasons-to-get-started-on-education-planning-in-2014

Hardy, M. (n.d.). 6 reasons to go back to school. Retrieved from http://education.yahoo.net/articles/reasons_to_go_to_school.htm

Julian, T. United States Census Bureau, (2012). Work-life earnings by field of degree and occupation for people with a bachelor’s degree: 2011. Retrieved from United States Census Bureau website: http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/acsbr11-04.pdf

McKenna, B. (2011, January 20). Top 10 reasons to continue your education. Retrieved from http://blog.ecollegefinder.org/2011/01/20/top-10-reasons-to-continue-your-education/

Recovery: Job growth and education requirements through 2020. (2013). Unpublished raw data, Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University, Washington DC, Retrieved from http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/Appendix1.Recovery2020.pdf

The importance of higher education. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.highereducation.org/reports/affordability_pa/affordability_pa4.shtml

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