Pursuing a college education and deciding on a degree is an important and challenging decision: financially, academically, personally, socially, intellectually, and physically. Most students question why they are trying to get a college degree at some point during their college experience, especially after their first semester or two when the focus requires a narrowing to a specific interest or field. This list is designed to show you the reasons to finish, stay on track, and complete a goal you set out to pursue.
You'll make more money. Figures range from several hundred thousand to a million dollars or more over your lifetime when compared to only having a high school diploma.
You'll have more opportunities in your career. A degree can mean more job openings, more chances at promotions, and more flexibility with which jobs you can enjoy.
You'll have more control and knowledge in your own life. You'll be better educated about the things that have an impact on your day-to-day life: knowing how to read a contract from law classes, balancing a checkbook or understanding how loans work from accounting classes. You can better understand retirement plans and savings from finance classes. A college education can empower you in all kinds of ways to be more in control of your life's decisions and allow you to make more informed and smarter choices.
You can handle more challenges and adversity. From having more savings available for emergencies to having marketable skills and an education during an economic downturn, having a degree can come in handy when life has its ups and downs.
You'll always be valuable. Having a college degree today is what having a high school diploma was considered a few decades ago: the base education. Consequently, having a degree now will open doors for the future, which can lead to an employer funding your future education. Corporate training and education sponsorship will continue to grow your skills and marketable education.
Intangible Reasons to Get a College Degree
You'll understand your choices more and examine decisions critically. The critical thinking and reasoning skills you learn in college will stay with you for a lifetime. These are important problem solving skills that develop in the advanced classes at college. These allow you to be proactive in your life and decisions.
You can be a valuable resource/inspiration to others. Many social service positions, from doctor and lawyer to teacher and scientist, require a college degree at minimum. Being able to help others with your academic skills is a great reward and can be especially important for younger generations who will learn an education is important early on in their life.
You'll have more access to resources. In addition to the financial resources you'll have access to through your higher income, you'll also have access to the network of friends and peers you connect with in college. Your roommate from freshman year who is now a lawyer can assist in legal advice, your friend from chemistry class who is now a doctor can prescribe health advice, and the professors you connect with may bridge you to a job are the kinds of benefits and resources that are hard to plan for -- but that can make all the difference in the world.
You'll have a strong foundation to build your future education upon. As you continue and advance in your career, you may find the desire or need to obtain a higher level degree such as a masters or PHD. Having an undergraduate degree already under your belt will better allow you to pursue your aspirations when they further develop later in your career.
You'll build confidence, self-worth, and self-respect. You may be the first person in your family to graduate from college or you may come from a long line of graduates. Either way, knowing you earned your degree will show you completed a long-term goal you set out to do. You’ll carry your success onto the next stages of life and build upon them to grow further in your professional and academic endeavors.