How important is a college degree? With college costs skyrocketing out of control, and only 27% of college students working in their degrees, you have to ask why is college so important. The average college student attending a state school is spending $9,410 per school year, with costs exceeding $25,000 per year for private schools, causing an unsupported student to carry nearly $40,000 in debt at graduation.
One of the truths is that college graduates do make more money per year. Recent data suggests that graduates make as much as 98% an hour more than the non or partially college educated student. With 27% of workers not working in their major, but graduates earning 98% more per hour, what is it about the relationship between employers and the education system draws us to accept the debt load of college.
Degrees get you in the door
The degree is a safety net for personnel managers. In jobs that don’t require obviously specialized degrees; Doctors, Lawyers, Scientists, etc. setting an initial bar of a bachelor’s weeds out first applicants. In some cases, especially when hiring from within, experience alone may earn an applicant an interview or even a job offer, but if you look at the requirements on the job description, you’ll probably see the minimum educational requirement includes a bachelor’s.
Degree holders support other degree holders
When a degree holder is in the position of selecting who to hire, they are more likely to choose another degree holder. Part of the reason is that if they have been through “it,” then applicants should have been through “it” as well. Whether or not the role may actually require a bachelor’s degree, that expectation may be set in stone.
Degrees set a minimum expectation
The requirements of a degree and the work needed to complete the coursework, create an expected baseline for what the applicant knows and has had to do. The applicant has been through the minimum requirements within the first two years of school to enter into the courses that support their major. They have done the required research, writing, and critical thinking needed to understand and pass their classes.
It’s not just about the degree
You may have attended class as required, held a serving job in a bar, and partied whenever possible. If you did, you are like the majority of other students graduating in any given year. If you want to get hired, employers look at the show you are separated from the herd in some way. The college experience offers you a multitude of ways to show you are a team player or someone who has that extra spark. Student government, athletics, relationships with professors all show that the applicant has intangible qualities that an employer will consider.