The Value of a College Education. Why Finish Your Degree?. Arthur Blakemore , Ph.D. Chair, Department of Economics Vice Provost Last updated 07-16-07 . www.asu.edu/asu101.
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Why Finish Your Degree?
Arthur Blakemore, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Economics
Last updated 07-16-07
There are many reasons to remain in college and get your college degree. Many of the reasons pertain to personal satisfaction. Other reasons are economic and more easily measured. Some of these measurable reasons for getting your degree follow.
Individual earnings are strongly related to educational attainment. People who have completed high school earn more than those who have not; people with a bachelor’s degree earn more than those with only a high school diploma; and those with a graduate education earn more than those with only an undergraduate education. Consider the following:
In time periods of rapid technological progress, as we are experiencing now, this earnings premium is likely to grow as workers who have obtained critical thinking skills adapt to innovations far better than those without such skills. College provides the academic platform for critical thinking and continuous learning, attributes required in the modern workplace. As such, a college degree also offers far more in terms of job security.
With life expectancy growing so rapidly, imagine that a typical young person entering college today will work possibly 50 years! Job satisfaction is going to be a very important consideration for a time period approximately three times greater than your current age.
They all have in common the requirement of a college degree!
Careers that require a college degree are far more likely to have fringe benefits such as health insurance, pension plans and paid vacations. Adding salary, fringe benefits, greater retirement income and greater job security, it is easy to imagine a college degree worth several million dollars over the lifetime of the average individual.
Now consider the following lifetime values:
Before agreeing to work an extra 10 hours per week for extra spending money and replacing 10 hours of studying, compare the hourly pay of the job with the lifetime value of studying.