According to the Economist, college graduates ages 25 to 35 make an average of $17,500 more annually than those in their cohort with only a high school diploma. The Economist got this number from the Pew Research Centre. The Economist went on to note that this does not take all majors into account. Some degrees pay for themselves, and others certainly do not.
Beyond that, graduates who fall into the right opportunities, take a creative or successfully entrepreneurial approach to their careers, or escalate within a company from their college internship have a better time finding secure jobs with higher salaries than their cohorts.
At the same time, employers are looking to hire people with experience…and a bachelor’s degree. This means that while you’re in college, the way to make the most of your investment is to take this opportunity to pursue and internship or a job in the field. You need experience to find a job, but you need a job to gain experience. However, being a student is a special loophole. Internship opportunities available to students who are in the process of learning are available.
Can you get an internship without being in college? Yes.
The fact of the matter is, a degree is helpful in earning a better salary. Not all majors will provide the same payoffs, but this is also dependent on the individual and their long-term goals. For example, many degree specializations that will not land a student in a high-paying career right out of school are better suited for setting them up for pursuing a master’s degree or Ph.D. further down the line.
When thinking about whether college is worth the cost for you, consider your long-term career goals. If you want a high-paying, secure job right out of college, choose a major that pays for itself and get going in an internship while you are in school with a company you see long-term potential with. If you are looking to pursue further levels of higher education within academia, you can be more flexible, but be aware of your long-term financial situation.
Either way, employers are looking for candidates with experience. Even if you decide to go it on your own and be self-employed or own your own business, experience in the field is necessary for success. You need to know how deep the water is before you sink in your anchor. Make an extra effort to work in the field you ultimately want to end up in – whether it be a low-skilled job, volunteer work, or an internship.
Already have work experience and some college under your belt? Your degree is certainly worth the investment, but going back to college may not be. You may be able to get your degree without going back to school. To learn how, visit us at thecareerpeople.com.