What Does a College Degree Mean for your Future Professional Development?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

It is not that big of a secret that the days when the college degree was considered a “get-out-of-your-parents’-home” card, and the job we got after the graduation was the job that we would continue doing until we retire, are long gone.

With the things as they are, all aspiring young persons have to ask themselves “What exactly do I get by attending college?” and “Will my degree have any kind of impact on my future career”?

Unfortunately, the things are not as black and white as one would like them to be.

Let us take a look at some of the different ways college life and college degree can steer your future professional life.

What Does a College Degree Mean for your Future Professional Development1

  • College Degree Opens Job Opportunities

    Let us start with the most obvious observation. Although their value in today’s ever changing business environment has drastically diminished, college degrees can still represent a huge boost in anyone’s career.

    Getting a bachelor degree in business administration, for example, can help hone your skills in business management and gain an advantage in landing the job you’re applying for than other candidates who do not.

    Not only do they create more job opportunities, but also open up a road to higher paid positions. Sure, as the time goes by, practical skills will continue to steal the spotlight away from theoretical knowledge.

    However, that does not mean that degrees will lose all of their value. Even if you end up applying for some job that does not have too much connection with your degree, employers will appreciate the time and effort you put into earning it.

  • Not All Degrees Are Created Equal

    Another fact that is widely known, and the one that shows less flattering side of graduation, is that not all degrees have the same value on the labor market.

    The exact numbers may vary from country to country, but the highest paid salaries are almost unanimously reserved for the students of computer science, engineering, and medicine.

    Also, well-regarded private schools almost always lead to bigger paychecks. As a matter of fact, according to NerdWallet survey, public school graduates earned just 80% of the salaries of the ones earned by their peers who attended private schools.

  • Degree Creates an Opportunity for Networking and Academic Development

    But, even if you plan on signing up for a public college and pursuing degree in an area that does not belong to the big three we mentioned above, your undertaking does not have to be doomed from the get-go.

    First of all, degree will open you a path to academic advancement. In the case of liberal arts, that is the only way in which you can reach the higher-paid positions.

    Furthermore, attending a college or university offers you a chance to participate in various projects, work with influential people from your branch and start making job opportunities while you are still a student.

  • The Curse of Student Debt

    Of course, it is very hard to discuss the modern education without stumbling upon the elephant in the room – the ever-growing student debt.

    Do not get us wrong, this problem can successfully be mitigated if you are aware of your expenses, find affordable student accommodation, and make few other necessary concessions.

    But, in a world where nearly 50% of developers are self-educated, does pouring money into formal education (potentially crippling your chances to find the degree-related job due to debt burden) even make sense?

With all the things previously said in mind – Yes it does. Sure, labor market may be full of uncertainties, and yes, attending a college (even a public one) is way too expensive. But both of these things make the value of degree even greater.

Earning one can be of immense help while trying to differentiate yourself from other job-hunters. Granted, you will have to make some smart choices.

You’ll have to start making job opportunities while still at college, and you will have to avoid the extensive spending like plague. But, once you graduate, your dream job will finally be within your grasp.

What you will do from there on is only up to you.

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