The Major Differences Having a College Degree Makes

By Kersten Stokes

Although it may not be easy to hear, graduating high school isn’t what it used to be and now everyone has this mentality that college is a requirement, and in most cases it is. Although it may be extremely hard on your mind, wallet, social activities, and more, college opens more doors and provides you with more benefits than not having a college degree. Below are some of the major differences that having a college degree makes in today’s world.

You’ll Make More Money

Probably one of the biggest differences you’ll see when you have a college degree is making more money. Median earning by education level for a high school graduate is around $21,500, whereas those that have a bachelor’s degree make approximately $42,000. Over a life time, that means you can earn a range of several thousands of dollars to a million dollars or more over your lifetime.

An interactive and informative infographic highlighting all the monetary differences of having a degree can be found at: Get A Real Degree.

You Will Feel More Empowered

College gives you skills that you don’t realize are amazing until you start using them in the real world or on your jobs. I know that after I graduated, my critical thinking skills were through the roof and have helped me get recognized at my job as a problem solver. These skills that you learn while getting your degree can affect you at your job, like they have me, or even just your day to day life in making decisions, handling situations, and having knowledge that you didn’t have previously.

While these skills will make you feel more empowered and in control of your life, they also help give you pride of knowing what you accomplished and a sense of self. I was the first one in my immediate family to graduate from college, and the immense pride that I felt for myself, as well as the pride that my family and parents felt for me was almost overwhelming. During that time, I felt like I could conquer the world and get any job I wanted. While I know that’s definitely not the case now, I know that with my degree I have so many more opportunities than if I hadn’t gone to college.

More Access to Resources

One of the best things that I like to use is the resources provided by the college I went to. You make friends at college who might be lawyers now, you might have had roommates that became doctors, or that person you met at an alumni mixer/event may offer you a job in the next few weeks. Not only will you have those people to lean on, but the school as well, which can make all the difference in the world. Or at least, getting a job that you love, uses your degree, and makes you a decent amount of money.

Opportunities Abound That You Might Not Know Of

Not only will you have more job opportunities, more chances at promotions, and more flexibility of the kinds of jobs you take, there are many opportunities out there that you might not have even thought of. As you get older, join the work force, and get a feel for what you want to do, you may decide you develop a strong interested in something unexpected. Having a valuable degree under your belt can help you pursue your dreams once you realize them and where they are taking you.

Kerstin Stokes is a 2013 graduate of the College of Idaho interested in helping others achieve their educational dreams, no matter what age they are. Kerstin enjoys hanging out with her cat, looking up tasty recipes for baking, and working to start her writing and marketing career. You can contact her via e-mail:



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