For many high school graduates the thought of taking a break from school and getting a job right out of high school can seem attractive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in October 2009, 70.1 percent of 2009 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities, and those who were not were more likely than enrolled graduates to be in the labor force. When high school students are choosing what to do after graduation, they might wonder just how important earning a bachelor’s degree is. The answer is, much more than they might think.
Earning your bachelor’s degree is important because it will help you to earn more money. When it comes to how much money one can make in a lifetime, the average college graduate will earn 61 percent moreover a 40-year working life than the average high school graduate, reported College Board in their 2009 study “Education Pays: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society.” This is proof that completing the four or so more years of education after high school is well worth the effort. Many young adults consider bypassing college because they have to pay for it themselves and may have to go into debt in order to enroll. But even if you have to borrow the full cost of your education, you will still be better off with that diploma in your hand. According to the study, students who have to borrow the majority of the money to pay for college will still likely be financially better off, fairly soon after graduation, than they would be even if they began working full-time right out of high school.
Earning your bachelor’s degree is important because it will help you live a better lifestyle. When it comes to one’s quality of life, those who have a bachelor’s degree tend to fare better than those without one. First, college graduates tend to value healthier lifestyles. According to the study at every age and income level, higher levels of education are correlated with better health. For example, low-income bachelor’s degree recipients were more likely than high school graduates at any income level to report that they were in either excellent or very good health. Earning a bachelor’s degree not only improves the life of college graduates but the lives of their children. The study found that the children of college-educated adults are more likely to have higher cognitive skills, as well as be more involved in athletic, religious, and cultural extracurricular activities than other children.