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American confidence in higher education is plummeting. A recent Gallup poll found that trust in the agency has hit an all-time low, with only 36% of those surveyed having “a lot” or “a lot” of confidence in the agency. Became.
With many universities increasing tuition fees for the 2023-24 academic year and student loan repayments also restarting, it’s no wonder Gen Z is looking for other options to pursue their careers.
As the next generation seeks new opportunities, a college degree may become less appealing. Companies like Google, IBM, and Delta have eliminated some four-year degree requirements. Other companies have also announced significant increases in minimum wages, and growing concerns about inflation are causing many to reevaluate their careers.
However, research continues to show that a college degree is still valuable for financial security and well-being.
Here are three reasons why students should consider pursuing a college degree.
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beginning, a college degree can give a student one of the highest returns on investment toward future success. Studies have shown that people with a bachelor’s degree or higher earn more over their lifetime than those with a high school diploma. The median lifetime earnings of those with a bachelor’s degree is $2.8 million, 75% more than those with only a high school diploma. And in our country, the highest paying jobs require at least a graduate degree.
If you have a university degree, your chances of finding a job are higher. Nearly two-thirds of employers still require a degree for entry-level jobs, according to a report from Cengage Group. People with a bachelor’s degree or higher (2.2%) have the lowest unemployment rate compared to people with a high school diploma (4.5%).
A college degree can increase a student’s financial security, but it also provides opportunities to discover one’s interests and learn a variety of skills, whether in the classroom or on-the-job experience. Classes can give you insight into what it’s like to pursue a specific career and expose you to opportunities you may want to explore without committing to a lifelong commitment.
Additionally, students who participate in hands-on experiences such as internships can increase their competitiveness in the job market, with 68% of students receiving a full-time offer from the company they interned with.
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Number 2, a university degree can positively contribute to a student’s well-being. One of the growing concerns regarding Gen Z is the rise in mental health issues. More than two in five Gen Zers have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and they are more likely to report mental health concerns than any other demographic group.
This is something that many higher education institutions are at the forefront of efforts to provide services that help young people overcome various stressors in their lives. At the university where I am president, students have access to licensed mental health care providers through our campus counseling center and 24/7 online services.
A new report from Lumina and Gallup finds that people with a bachelor’s degree are more likely to say their health is excellent or very good than workers without a higher education. I understand. They are also more likely to exercise and receive preventive medical care when needed.
College is a place where many students learn how to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds, build community, and form lifelong friendships. The same Lumina and Gallup report found that bachelor’s degree holders are more likely to engage in social behavior with friends, family, and neighbors, which can promote overall well-being.
finally, earning a college degree can increase students’ civic participation. Research shows that people with a four-year degree are more likely to participate in the political process (like voting), volunteer in their communities, and donate to charity.
Higher education institutions help foster the importance of fulfilling one’s duties as a citizen. Through courses, guest lectures, seminars and school clubs, students learn the importance of being good citizens. During election season, voting is a crucial step in creating change, and many college graduates understand the importance of making their voices heard. In the 2020 presidential election, voting participation rates were high for people with at least a bachelor’s degree.
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College graduates also recognize the value of contributing to the community through their time and finances. In fact, a report from Lumina and Gallup found that 67% of people with a bachelor’s degree say they have donated to charity in the past 12 months, compared to 38% of U.S. adults without a higher education degree. It becomes. And the proportion of people volunteering, from those with a degree to those without tertiary education, has nearly doubled.
Many universities like ours offer opportunities to volunteer locally and globally so that students can learn about the great needs of our world. Volunteer work not only benefits the place the student serves, but also positively contributes to the student’s physical health.
While it may be easy for students to want to get a job right after graduating from high school, they need to think about long-term investments. What may seem appealing now (like a full-time job) may not be the best choice for their future in terms of financial security or finding what they really want to do in life. After all, a college degree not only benefits the person who earns it, but can also make a huge difference in the lives of those around them.
Click here to read more.Kent Ingle