5 Reasons to Return to College and Earn your Bachelor's Degree

If you are considering returning to school to finish your bachelor’s degree, do it! The bachelor’s degree is one of the most common degrees and thousands of adult students enroll (or re-enroll) in college each year just to earn that level of education.

Greater earning potential

Better pay is most people’s primary goal in earning a bachelor’s degree. As of 2016, individuals with a bachelor’s degree on average make approximately $337 more per week than those with an associate degree, and $400 more per week than those with some college, but not a degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, someone with a bachelor’s degree will typically make around $17,500 more annually than someone with an associate degree. Over the course of a 30-year career, that amounts to more than $500,000 in additional income!

More job opportunities

A bachelor’s degree opens numerous career opportunities. Graduates can work in health care as nurses, in big businesses as marketing experts, in technology fields as project managers, and much more. Though there are positions available for those with only a high school diploma or associate degrees, those positions are typically entry-level and you may need a bachelor’s degree to continue advancing into higher positions. Earning a bachelor’s may be the key you need to move into a higher-paying position with more authority.

Improved employment benefits

Studies show that college graduates are more likely to receive better employer benefits than individuals without a college degree. This is especially true of healthcare insurance coverage. A 2013 report by College Board showed that roughly 70% of individuals with a four-year college degree received a health insurance benefit from their employer, compared to only 55% percent of employees with only a high school diploma.

Across the board, college graduates can find jobs with better benefits. In addition to healthcare, college graduates can look forward to better retirement benefits, health savings accounts, tuition reimbursement, childcare and reimbursement for travel and commuting.

Better job stability

A college degree leads to greater job stability. During an economic downturn, it’s not uncommon for employers to cut jobs. The positions that are often first to get cut are those entry-level positions that don’t require a college degree. During a recession, the unemployment rate among college graduates is substantially lower than among people with only a high school diploma. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, having an associate degree suggests you are 30% less likely to be unemployed. However, individuals with a bachelor’s are around 50% less likely to be unemployed.

Some jobs have an even lower unemployment rate. According to U.S. News & World Report, some of the jobs with the best job security during a recession include nurses, public school teachers, accountants, and actuaries. Not surprisingly, most jobs with high security also require a college degree.

Impact on your Family

When considering college, most people realize a degree will impact their economic life, but another benefit of earning a college degree is the positive impact it can have on families, especially children. Not only are children of parents with a college education better off socially and economically, but studies have shown that children in households where parents have a college degree are themselves more likely to earn a college degree. Earning your college degree may have an impact on your children, grandchildren, and generations to come!

In summary

All in all, a bachelor’s degree is a great thing if you are looking for a rewarding career with opportunities to take on increasing authority and to earn a comfortable living.

At James Madison, we’ve developed a program that makes it possible for adult to return to school and earn their bachelor’s degree, even while continuing to work full-time. If you are 22 years of age or older and have 30 or more college credits with a 2.0 or higher GPA, contact us today to learn more about applying to our Adult Degree Program. It might just be your next great life decision!

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