Hi Cortney - the answer 95% of the time is a resounding YES! Pretty much every study ever conducted on this topic confirms this. I know we've all heard the stories of people who dropped out of college or never went to college and are now dot com millionaires - as in Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. But these folks are very few and far between. As one article put it: most people AREN'T Mark Zuckerberg or Richard Branson (Osborn, 2016). A recent study found that people with a college degree earn more than 1 million MORE over the course of their lifetime than someone who didn't earn a college degree. This study also found that college grads earn about $17,000 more a year than those who don't have a college degree (as cited in Osborn, 2016). Also, the UNemployment rate for those who didn't attend college is 3 times higher than for those who did attend college. Are there people who didn't go to college that make more money than those do did attend college? Of course there are. There are exceptions to any rule. But I bet if you asked any of those millionaires who didn't attend college if they want their children to go to college.... they would all say "YES"! And they would all gladly pay for it. Take into account also that more people today ARE earning college degrees...and you will be competing with those people for jobs. It's my opinion, and many others, that SOME post secondary education is warranted for pretty much everyone these days. I don't argue that everyone needs a 4-year bachelor's degree - some don't. Foe example, take car mechanics. I have a friend who's a car mechanic for a top-named car maker. He works at one of their dealerships. He went to a technical college and earned a 2-year certificate in mechanics and now earns about $42,000/ year in the Atlanta metro area which appears to be a bit over the national average (Johnston, 2016). And the beginning average salary for a teacher here in metro Atlanta is about $39,000. So the person with the 2 year certificate earns more than the person with the 4-year degree. So you have to take into account the industry or occupational field - as some fields simply pay more than others. (It tells you something about our values doesn't it!? ) The bottom line is that some college or post-secondary education is probably needed for pretty much any job you can think of these days. But yes, there are always exceptions. And a college degree does not GUARANTEE financial success. There are no guarantees. Do your homework. Look into occupations/jobs and think about what you want to do, what you're good at, the kind of life you want to live, your finances, etc. Use all the info you can to help you make good decisions about your future. See some links below for some interesting reading on the topic. And best of luck to you!
Osborn P. (2016). DO COLLEGE GRADS REALLY EARN MORE THAN HIGH SCHOOL GRADS? Retrieved
Teachingdegree.org (Retrieved April, 2018). Average salaries in Georgia.
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Good Question. There was a time in the past when college degrees were not as important to be competitive as they are now, like during your grandparents or great-grandparents generation. However, now just to complete or advance in most companies, degrees are required more and more. For instance, to enter as a warehouse worker, no degree is required, however to manage that same warehouse, a degree most often is required to prove you know how versus another applicant for the same position. That degree shows you've studied the financial aspects of running a warehouse, the people management, and materials management. It can also prove that you can effectively multitask between projects because you would have done so for passing multiple classes. A degree let's employers know that you are able to do multiple tasks like speak to a group, work with a team, write effect, manage your time, and are punctual.....all of which take place for success in college. Hope this helps. Good luck!