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Never Too Late For a Degree: 11 Benefits of a College Education for Professional Advancement

Many U.S. high school graduates continue their education by attending college and completing a degree. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. census data, an estimated 46 million Americans have some college credits but do not graduate. For those who were not able to earn a college degree immediately after high school, the brave decision to enroll in a program later in life can benefit both them and their loved one.


People are our nation’s greatest resource, and continuing education can open the doors to a limitless future. With the support of student services, experienced teaching faculty, and dedicated admissions specialists, students returning to school can develop the skills and knowledge they need to prepare for tomorrow’s careers.


To learn more, check out the infographic below created by Maryville University.

How earning a bachelor’s degree can improve life in and out of the office.

Reduced Risk of Unemployment and Poverty

A college education is often a steppingstone toward a healthier and more stable financial future. It’s a step plenty of people take: Studies indicate roughly 51 million American adults aged 18 and older had a bachelor’s degree in 2018. Studies also show that the most poplar bachelor’s degree conferred in 2016-17 was business, followed by health professions and related professions.

Benefit 1: Reduce the Risk of Unemployment

Earning a bachelor’s degree can be a vital protection against job loss. Polls indicate the 2018 unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree was 2.2%. This compares favorably to the 4.1% unemployment rate for those with only a high school diploma.

Benefit 2: Reduce the Risk of Poverty

In addition to increased job security, those with at least an undergraduate degree tend to be better shielded from poverty. The rate of poverty among those with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 4.4%, compared to the 12.7% rate for those with just a high school diploma.

Benefit 3: Increase Earning Potential

Earning a degree can potentially have a profound impact on a person’s finances. The average annual earnings for Americans with a bachelor’s degree is $78,000 – 75% more than the $45,000 earned on average by Americans with a high school diploma.

Gaining Skills and Knowledge

Today’s college students want more than textbook knowledge. They want to develop advanced skills that will equip them for success in tomorrow’s careers.

Benefit 4: Develop In-Demand Technical Skills

Earning a college degree can equip individuals with a wide range of competencies that are currently in high demand. Some of these tech skills include cloud computing, analytical reasoning, user experience design, and video production.

Benefit 5: Gain Specialized Knowledge

A college education can help prepare graduates for a host of fast-growing occupations. Some these careers, such as information security analyst, physician assistant, and statistician, have a projected job growth of more than 30%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Benefit 6: Develop Career-Ready Soft Skills

Earning a degree can cultivate soft skills, which are considered essential to supporting more role-specific competencies regardless of profession. Employers typically look for candidates with solid soft skills like communication, problem-solving, people skills, and learnability.

Benefit 7: Gain Access to a Network of Peers and Faculty

Students that enroll in a university can connect with several on- and off-campus networks, such as clubs and organizations, clubs and organizations, community service, and career fairs. Faculty can also offer students opportunities like personalized support, mentoring, and career advice.

Career and Health Benefits of Going to College

A college education increases graduates’ chances of having better health and better fringe benefits.

Benefit 8: Access More Career Opportunities

Earning a bachelor’s degree isn’t just a smart idea – it may be somewhat necessary. By 2020, 65% of jobs will require postsecondary education beyond high school. 35% will require a bachelor’s degree, and 30% will require some college or an associate degree. Furthermore, most professionals in the fastest-growing occupations have postsecondary education and training.

Benefit 9: Qualify for Jobs in Industries with Labor Shortages

There are several sectors that have a big need for qualified workers, such as those with a bachelor’s degree. These sectors include education and health services, government, and information.

Benefit 10: Enjoy Premium Fringe Benefits

The more advanced your degree, the better your benefits tend to be. For instance, those with bachelor’s degrees and higher have an average annual employer contribution for health insurance of over $3,200. Over 75% of those in this same demographic have health insurance through employment by education level, and over 45% have a retirement plan through employment.

Benefit 11: Improve Health and Well-Being

Studies indicate that a significantly lower percentage of bachelor’s or advanced degree-holders smoke compared to those without degrees. Additionally, a college education can provide the skills necessary to navigate the complexities of the healthcare industry.


Earning a degree offers benefits that extend beyond graduation day. Graduates often enjoy greater health and wellness, earnings, and career success compared with their less educated peers. The decision to go back to school is a brave one – and worth it.

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