5 Reasons a Bachelor’s Degree is Worth It
When it comes to conquering your career goals, you need the perfect balance of education, skills, and tenacity. Having too much of one and not enough of another can leave you vulnerable in your job search, especially at times of economic uncertainty.
When it comes to earning a college degree, however, one thing is certain: a bachelor’s degree may help you secure your future. In a good or bad economy, a bachelor’s degree has the possibility to — among other things — increase your potential earnings, give you a competitive advantage, and position you for greater achievements professionally and personally.
Here are five reasons a bachelor’s degree is still worth it:
1. Education pays
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics — the agency that studies labor economics and employment data — finds that median usual weekly earnings for bachelor’s degree holders is $1,198, which is 39% higher than that of a person with a high school diploma and no college education.
Your earnings potential may increase with every level of education you complete. The median weekly earnings for someone with a master’s degree is typically 16% higher than someone with a bachelor’s degree, the agency reports, and doctoral graduates earn median weekly earnings that are 21% greater than master’s degree holders.
2. A bachelor’s degree can be a stepping-stone
“These degrees mean business connections and opportunities that never existed before,” explains Ashford University graduate Lynn Currie, who saw her Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurship* as a means to get ahead as she launched her own consulting business.
“The companies I work with see my proven track record in business, and now the education I have fully supported that experience,” she adds.
After completing her undergraduate program, Lynn returned to Ashford to earn her Master of Business Administration. She is not alone, as the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the number of master’s degree holders has doubled since 2000, with 21 million people now holding advanced degrees.
Recognizing that many students are adept at multitasking and time management, Ashford offers the Smart Track, which allows undergraduates to take master’s degree-level courses while they earn their bachelor’s degrees. Smart Track students are able to complete their graduate degrees up to 18 weeks ahead of their peers, giving them a head start in their careers. Watch the video for more information.
3. Expertise matters in today’s job market
When you want to gain a position in one of today’s in-demand career fields, expertise matters. Health Care Administration, Nursing, and IT are among the bachelor’s degrees that can open doors for you:
Health Care Administration
Health care remains one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, and, like any industry, it needs leadership. A health care administration program will immerse you in relevant topics such as regulation and financing, health care planning, and health policy; while positioning you to pursue roles in hospital operations, facilities management, and clinical research management, among others.
RN to BSN in Nursing
Nurses are on the front lines of every health care emergency, so it is not a surprise to see the occupation listed among the country’s most in-demand jobs. In recent years, a bachelor’s degree has become a requirement for nurses in some regions, with many employers urging longtime RNs to return to school for their undergraduate degrees. For Ashford University’s RN to BSN program, applicants must possess an active, unrestricted license to practice as a Registered Nurse or its equivalent in at least one U.S. state, and all students must maintain this licensure throughout the program of study.
At the same time, today’s nurses must adapt to changing regulations and patient procedures, explains LaTonya Santo, EdD, MSN, RN, and an associate professor who serves as lead faculty for Ashford’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program.
“The bachelor’s program focuses on caring for a population of people versus one patient,” she says. “Gone are the days when you could stay in the hospital for weeks with a minor illness. Healthcare has moved from hospitals into the community, with a focus on wellness, health promotion, and illness prevention.”
With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting faster than average growth for Network Administrators and other computer science-related positions, a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology can help you break into the field. As technology is always evolving, there will always be a demand for educated professionals that can transition organizations to improved, faster computer networks.
It’s worth emphasizing that Health Care and Information Technology, specifically, have been deemed “recession-proof” or “recession-resistant” industries because they can thrive in good and bad economies. That’s a relief for professionals seeking job security or returning to school so they can pursue work in a relevant field.
4. A bachelor’s degree offers career versatility
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a person will have an average of 12 jobs over one lifetime, but moving up the corporate ladder or changing careers later in life can be challenging with a limited education.
While you may need to return to school if you plan to leap into a brand new field, many bachelor’s degree programs will give you transferrable skills that can make it easier to pursue a career that aligns with your personal and professional ambitions.
“I can’t be in my field without a degree,” says Ashford University graduate Yenette Perryman, who used her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management to help build her own consulting firm.
“A degree puts me in a place where I can be a lot more competitive in my field. It puts me in a place where my education parallels my experience,” she adds.
5. A bachelor’s degree can build confidence
No list of bachelor’s degree benefits would be complete without including the confidence boost that comes with holding your degree in-hand.
“Having a degree allows you to influence the world,” explains Ashford University graduate Elton Thomas. “I’ve had ideas before and wanted to do things a certain way, but having a degree opens doors to people who will listen to you and take you seriously.”
That feeling of accomplishment and knowing that you overcame whatever obstacles stood between you and your degree cannot be quantified by any research study. That feeling of success is yours alone, and it will stay with you for the rest of your life.
If you’re ready to take your career prospects to another level and secure your future, contact an Ashford University advisor about your bachelor’s degree today.
Written by Ashford University Staff
*See the course catalog for the latest available programs.