Whether you are an adult hoping to expand your career potential or finishing high school and thinking about your next steps, you may be wondering whether going to college is a good idea.  

As higher education is a substantial investment of both time and money, you need to know if the benefits make it worthwhile.


What are the Benefits of Going to College? 

Students walking between classes on Auraria Campus.Investing in college means an investment in yourself, . Here are 10 of the best benefits of earning a college degree: 


  1. Higher Earning Potential

Earning a college degree opens the door to better income potential. If you are employed in a field that does not require a degree, having one will make it more likely that you will advance in the company you work for. On average, people with a college degree make more than those with just a high school diploma. A 2021 survey published by Forbes found that adults with a bachelor’s degree earned over twice the amount as those without one over their lifetimes. 


  1. Better Employability

Having a college degree increases the likelihood you will also have a job. According to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, the employment rate for 25 to 34-year-olds drastically increases with higher levels of education. The employment rate was 86 percent for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher as of March 2020, compared to 69 percent for those who had a high school diploma only. 


  1. Preparation for a Specialized Career

You can get a job without a college degree, but you may not be able to launch a career. Many specialized career paths require a degree as the foundation for entry (and success) in that field. If your chosen field has specialized job training requirements, earning a degree is the logical first step. For example, if you want to work in education or the medical fields, you will need a degree to get started. 


  1. Increased Productivity

When you earn a college degree, you develop more skills in your chosen field. More skills mean a greater level of productivity, which benefits everyone in the workforce, from the employee to the employer. This involves gaining skills in your field of study that will help you manage your time on the job. Furthermore, a degree usually comes with some hands-on training, increasing your aptitude. 


  1. Better Communication Skills

Higher education brings with it skills to communicate both verbally and in writing. You will be able to interact with your coworkers clearly, and learn how to communicate with your management team effectively. If your job involves speaking to customers or students, you will also gain important skills to help you do so. Clear written and verbal communication is critical to finding success at work. 


  1. Improved Self Confidence

Finishing college is a huge accomplishment. When you graduate, you gain confidence knowing you have done hard work and it has paid off. This  is vital in the workplace. Employers notice it in job interviews and when considering people for leadership roles. It is invaluable as you seek career advancement. 


  1. Development of Critical Thinking Skills

High school classes are usually focused on imparting knowledge and building basic skills, leaving little room for developing critical thinking. Yet in the workforce and in life, critical thinking is vital. By the time someone heads to college, they are usually ready to think on a deeper  level about various topics. 

Many college programs have a heavy emphasis on critical thinking, helping you fine-tune your abilities to think clearly about the challenges you will face in your job. 


  1. Creating Networking Opportunities

When it comes to landing a job, it’s often all about who you know. A professional network is a place where new job opportunities are found. Going to college automatically expands your professional network, as you can build relationships with students, teachers, and others in your field. 

Using tools like LinkedIn and other social media platforms, you can stay connected with those people after graduation. Over time, they can lead to information about potential positions or other networking opportunities. 


  1. Creates Pathways to Career Advancement Opportunities

Your college education not only grows your network, but it also starts you on the path toward career advancement opportunities. You may learn about conferences and events in your field that  add to your knowledge base and your professional connections. You may also be able to receive a certification that opens the door to greater career advancement.  

In addition, having a college degree gets your foot in the door for many promotions that simply aren’t available without one. If you want to move forward in your career, this is the key steppingstone. 


  1. A Happier Life

Greater income potential, greater career advancement, a strong network and higher self-confidence all add up to helping you create a happier life. Research backs up this claim, too. In a 2016 Pew Research Study, 23 percent of adults with limited education said they were not happy with their lives compared to just nine percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher. 

Why is this? According to a CNBC report, people who have a college degree also are more likely to have stable marriages, longer lives and better health than those who do not, contributing to overall levels of self-reported happiness.


Why Is Education Important? 

With so many benefits, higher education is a logical choice. It is the best thing you can do to position yourself for success. 

If you are looking for a college that will help you build your network and improve your employability, consider Metropolitan State University of Denver. With over 90 undergraduate degree programs, MSU Denver has something for everyone. Browse our available programs online, or reach out to an admissions counselor to discuss your needs today. 


Is college worth it? Watch MSU Denver President Janine Davidson’s TEDx talk for the answer, then read about the ROI of higher education on individuals and communities