How Much Value Does a College Degree Hold in the Working World?

Wed, May 15, 2013


With rising debt levels as a result of college loans and other factors, like recent grads only being able to land entry level positions, it is increasingly becoming harder and harder to decide whether or not to got to college. Why subject yourself to crushing college debt if you are only going to land a position you could of landed if you didn’t go to college in the first place? On the other side of the coin there are a number of positions that do require a degree, which makes going to college and even graduate school way more than worth it to pursue your particular career goals. How much does a college degree hold in the working world? It certainly depends, but in most cases it holds a lot of value.

For one, the old adage that people who go to college make more money doesn’t hold the same weight has it used to. In this day and age there are a lot of industries where your only prerequisite is that you have a strong work ethic and you are a self-starter. In most of those positions you don’t need a college degree to make the same salary as someone that does. Whether or not this is a sustainable choice remains to be seen. Who knows what many of those industries will hold for people in the future as culture and technology change.

In addition, the statistic that people who go to college earn more than people who don’t is much truer for past generations and doesn’t account for newer socioeconomic standards. This is mainly because the world was a vastly different place today. Current generations have the power of democratized resources at their fingertips, which is one of the biggest boons of the information age. Now you have more multimillionaires in the tech industry than any other industry that have dropped out of college and don’t have their degree.

On the other side of the coin, though, there are a number of careers where having your college degree is critical to earn a position. For instance, if you want to become a doctor you will need to go to medical school to obtain your doctorate. Even nurses need an advanced degree to obtain their certification to become a nurse to work in a hospital or clinic. Not to mention, lawyers and financiers who want to work their way up to the best law firms and hedge funds. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone in a law firm or on Wall Street without a college degree.

Lastly, another reason why obtaining your degree holds a lot value in the working world is because it can increase your chances of a promotion in your current job and allows for more career diversity. It is without a question that higher paying positions require some kind of degree. You won’t secure that corner office on the penthouse floor with a high school diploma. Moreover, what if you spend ten years as an employment lawyer, but then you realize that your legal studies might be best suited to environmental law and helping fight global warming. You can easily take your law school degree and apply them to a program to obtain your masters of environmental law and policy degree. In fact, Vermont Law offers a MELP degree online that makes it easier than ever to make your dream of saving the world a reality. At the end of the day, however, if you want to start the next big Internet phenomenon or if you want to be an artist, you can probably make it without a degree and still have a chance of changing the world.

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