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Whether you’re searching for a new job or moving up in your current career, a number of professions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Most career analysts and experts agree that a bachelor’s degree is a key asset that can offer professionals many advantages.
Yet, according to the Lumina Foundation, less than 40 percent of working-age Americans have a college degree. Many people today are choosing to forgo a college education and enter the workforce.
Dr. Elena Mastors, dean of faculty at University of Phoenix College of Humanities and Sciences, says a bachelor’s degree has five primary benefits:
1. It aids in the job search. When job candidates have equal qualifications, an employer is often more likely to choose the person with a college degree. In addition, even in a job where a college degree is not relevant, employers are more likely to choose college graduates.
2. It solidifies job security. Unemployment is lower for college graduates than it is for those who have completed some college or who ended their education with a high school diploma.
3. It helps secure a higher starting salary — with salary increases throughout a career. Workers with a bachelor’s degree tend to earn more at the same positions than workers without a degree. For example, secretaries, police officers, construction workers, plumbers and retail salespeople with bachelor’s degrees all earn more than those without. This is often because employers view workers with a degree as more valuable or more skilled.
4. It benefits rapidly expanding job fields. Many professions, such as writing, technically oriented fields, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are evolving rapidly. To keep their positions, workers are expected to adjust and change with the times. As a result, college graduates may have the advantage when it comes to adapting to a changing workforce.
5. It helps students hone and refine lifelong skills. Critical and creative thinking, collaboration, communication and knowing how to use information are valued skills in any career regardless of college major.