If you are just out of high school, the argument of whether or not you should attend college often leans toward attending. If, however, you have been out of school for several years and are currently employed, the question may be a little more difficult to decide. For people who like the job they have, the idea of spending money to earn a degree may seem crazy, while those who are employed, but dissatisfied may wrestle with the choice.
The good news is that anyone who wants to attend college can do so. There are a variety of payment options available that allow you to afford the education you may want. Grants and scholarships do not need to be repaid, federal student loans can cover some of the remaining costs, and private student loans, which do not have a borrowing cap, can cover the tuition balance. So, once you know that you can afford college, the question becomes, does it make sense to go? While money and time spent on education are always valuable, there are some facts to back up the idea that a college degree can provide long-term benefits that improve your quality of life.
Earnings Will Be Higher
Even if you work in a job where a college degree is not required, you generally receive higher compensation if you do have a degree. Over your entire work life, your overall earnings will be higher if you earn a degree. Also, having that degree will potentially open up options for promotions within your company that would otherwise be unavailable to you.
Can Stay Employed
No one knows what the future holds. Just because you have stable employment now does not mean it will stay that way forever. If something happens, with your company, your industry, or the economy, you will have an easier time finding a new job if you have your degree. The combination of a degree and solid work experience gives you a strong position, regardless of what happens in the future.
Have a Built-In Network
You don’t have to be a member of clubs or groups on campus to have a built-in network. Just the fact that you graduate from a particular school allows you to claim other alumni as part of your network. Having these people to reach out to during a job search allows you to create connections and a personal bond that can open doors and get your resume in the right set of hands.
Easier to Fight Impostor Syndrome
Impostor syndrome is hard to shake and it happens to nearly everyone. While earning a degree will not make you immune to this problem, it will at least give you room to objectively consider how your skills and talents line up with others. Earning your degree teaches you many things that are particular to your degree field, but it also teaches you the need to push through when you are feeling overwhelmed, how to present yourself to others, and perhaps most importantly, that everyone else is human too. Even the most together person has bad days and deficiencies in their skill-set. With this knowledge, it is easier to do your best work and to advocate for yourself in trying situations.