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A college degree can yield better job prospects


Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Enrolling in college requires an investment of time, effort and money. Consequently, pursuing a college degree right after high school is not possible for a number of people. However, even if personal or financial reasons make it necessary for you to delay enrolling in college, you should never give up on the idea of earning a degree.

Evidence shows that those who earn more than a high school diploma are likely to face better career prospects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, workers who held a bachelor’s degree made just over $400 more per week than those with a high school diploma alone. Even individuals who only completed some college were earning higher salaries than workers who never enrolled in college.

If this is not enough reason to validate the importance of earning a college degree, a new report from the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University provides insight into how recent high school graduates are faring in the workforce without a college degree.

The report uses data compiled from the responses of a representative sample of 544 high school graduates from the classes of 2006–2011. It indicates that 70 percent of participants believe they need more education to have a successful career.

Currently, 27 percent of respondents are working full-time, compared to 30 percent of high school graduates who are unemployed and looking for a job. Fifteen percent of diploma holders have a part-time position but hope to find a full-time job.

Bethany McClour, a 21-year-old part-time employee at The Children’s Place clothing store in Oregon, is a high school graduate who now understands the importance of enrolling in college.

"If I ever want to get out of retail, more education is definitely important," McClour told The New York Times.

The information contained in the report is also telling of what type of job market students enter when they have nothing more than a high school diploma. Only 4 percent of the respondents felt that their first post–high school job marked the beginning of their career. Roughly 17 percent thought of their position as a stepping stone and 79 percent simply took the job to get by.

While the job market is always changing, this and other evidence shows that working toward a college degree is time and money well spent.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800791341-ADNFCR

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