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Is College Important to a Career?

written by: Jason C. Chavis•edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 6/29/2011

How is college important to a career? Although there may be many ways to answer this question, successful workers and human resource consultants have identified many assets that can be beneficial to the proficiency of employees. College is a great provider of skill-building factors for the future.

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    College Grads in the Job Market


    Is college important to a career? The bottom line answer to this question is a resounding “Yes!” According to statistics from the Department of Labor, three out of ten occupations in the United States require at minimum an associate's degree. While this may seem low, it is important to take into account the plethora of careers included in this statistic. Every job occupied by high school students or those careers with limited potential for growth are also included. Of the thirty percent of employment opportunities requiring a degree, over half are high-paying jobs that offer a better salary than the average American currently makes. In addition, thirteen out of twenty of these jobs are currently increasing in pay scale.

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    How College Impacts Pay

    Why is college important to a career when it comes to pay? Currently, many observers are finding that the level of education one obtains has a major impact on the amount of money one can expect from a career. On average, those without a college degree make roughly $20,000 to $40,000 annually. Those with two years of college make $40,000 to $60,000. Unfortunately, four years will put you roughly in this same range. However, graduate school or a master's degree rises the annual salary of an individual to up to $90,000, while a person with a doctorate can expect to earn anywhere from $120,000 to half a million per year depending on the field.

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    Skill Sets Developed in College

    Employers have learned over the years that they can rely on the experience and education level of college graduates to a much greater degree in their workforce than other employees. According to human resource management agencies, college graduates posses certain skills that have strong benefits in the workplace.

    Those who have attended college understand the concepts of learning how to learn. During their tenure in the classroom and in post-secondary education, they were required to gather knowledge from a variety of sources and apply what they learned to scenarios and processes. This information-gathering ability makes a college graduate a strong asset in terms of training and implementing job skills in real life.

    School is a strong provider of interpersonal skill-building and development. Because of the nature of college, students need to work with others in order to build their education, whether it be teachers or fellow learners. This will translate into a career with both bosses and co-workers. This interpersonal communication is essential for conflict resolution and team building exercises.

    Time management is a primary component of a post-secondary education, benefiting the employee when it comes to workplace assignments. Since college classes have a variety of requirements and often force a student to balance short-term responsibilities with long-term expectations, task management is a strong factor in a student's success. Employees with a college background are better equipped to manage deadlines and complete projects and assignments in an efficient manner.

    When one breaks down the factors of whether college is important to a career, one can identify a number of truths about students when they reach the workplace. College is shown to be a very important asset to both employees seeking to excel at their job and employers who look for the top talent in the field.

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    • "Does Your GPA Really Matter?" Career Builder:
    • "College Student's Guide to Career Goals" My Goals:

    Image Credit

    • Supplied by Alan Cleaver at Flickr; Public Domain;