The Proven Benefits of a College Education

In an age where you hear of innovators such as Steve Jobs who dropped out of college, yet proceeded to launch immensely successful projects and careers, you may wonder if a college degree is still useful in today’s society. After all, there are always plenty of jobs that don’t require a college education, right?

A lesser-known story is that Steve Jobs credits his short time at Reed College with teaching him the art of calligraphy and concepts he later incorporated into the first Macintosh computer multiple typefaces and proportionately spaced fonts, which grew into a standard for the industry. Even as a college dropout, he reaped benefits from his brief college education.

One major benefit of a college education is the potential for higher pay. Those who have at least some college education earn more on average and have lower rates of unemployment on average than those with only a high school diploma, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The earnings difference at the bachelor’s degree level is even more significant. In 2008, the median weekly earnings for someone holding a bachelor’s degree was $1,012, while the median weekly earnings of a high school graduate stood at $618.

Entry into the key careers that push science and medicine forward will almost always require a college degree. It is the researchers and scientists in the laboratories that are developing life-saving treatments and pharmaceuticals that are helping people to live longer and curing diseases. There is simply no replacement for the research methods training you will receive at the graduate level in college. While innovation can take place anywhere, college campuses are hotbeds of innovation, places where an individual is constantly surrounded by ideas that can spur them into action.

Even if you never make it to graduate school, the benefits of higher education are obvious. Community colleges and technical schools have a proven record of preparing individuals for skilled trades such as dental hygiene, nursing, graphic design, electrical engineering, paralegal service and court reporting.

Aside from the higher pay and direct career training a college education provides, there is also the personal growth you attain in college through new experiences and friendships built. And these benefits, many would say, are priceless.

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