What will life be like next week? The week after that? 6 months from now? Does anyone pretend to know?
You’re thinking about getting your degree. It’s a big decision that’s had you waiting for a “good time” to start. Even if you are a planner extraordinaire, the uncertainties of life can take each day and turn it upside down. And as much as we would love a crystal ball to show us our future through its cloudy haze, we will never be able to truly see when “the right time” will be.
Getting a college degree is a serious obligation of your finances and time – and it’s completely normal to be anxious and uncertain. Most students who begin college right out of high school have more confidence than those starting later in life. Most of these right-out-of-school students are still in their teens, following a path pre-designed by parents, and free of most financial and familial burdens. In other words, they have a certain freedom that many adult learners fear they can no longer afford for themselves.
Listen. There are always going to be obstacles, obligations, doubts, and worries that can keep you from moving forward and obtaining that degree. But to find your confidence and calm the uncertainty holding you back, take stock of what a degree can do for you. List out the advantages – literally by hand if you need to – and let those reasons build the confidence you need. So instead of waiting or taking time to let things settle that may never calm down, remind yourself of what your degree can do for you.
When you’re crystal clear on this, you’ll realize that now just might be the time to start.
Here are a few thoughts to get you started.
Earn More with a College Degree
A college degree will help you make more money! With every completed level of education, more skills are developed and access to higher-paying careers increases. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “As workers’ educational attainment rises, their unemployment rates decrease and earnings increase.”
The variations may be surprising:
- Those with only a high school diploma are expected to earn a weekly salary of about $746 per week or $38,792 annually.
- Bachelor’s degrees increase one’s earning potential to an average of $1,248 each week or $64,895 annually.
- Master’s degrees raise salary options even more with an average of $1,497 per week or $77,844 annually.
- Professional degrees and doctorates lead the median of salaries with an average between $1,861 and $1,883 or $96,772 and $97,916 annually respectively.
Be a Part of the Career You Want
Your motivation for going to college doesn’t have to be about making more money. It can also be about finding fulfillment through work you enjoy. When it comes to being happier in your career, the cost analysis is more about how long you can mentally and physically afford to stay in your current position and less about your salary statement.
Obtaining a degree, for the first time or in a new field, can open doors to career options that excite and re-energize your commitment to your professional life. Although advancement in your current career or changing careers doesn’t always require a new degree—less than 30% of college grads are employed in an area related to their major—the investment you make in your education will give you the specialized skills and knowledge you need for your career choice, establish a new set of contacts, and show future and current employers your commitment to your new field.
Boost Your Self-Worth
Adult life has a lot of commitments. You have financial responsibilities, you’re caring for your children or parents, working, volunteering, and so much more. And all of this can weigh heavily on your shoulders. The YOU of your imaginings may be settled beneath all of the “have to’s” of your daily life. But getting your degree is an opportunity to better yourself and expand your knowledge in ways that really matter to you.
Obtaining your degree is an opportunity. It’s a chance to widen your perspectives and deepen your experiences and insights. Education is a world of enrichment, understanding, and challenging yourself in the company of peers all working toward a common goal. Getting your degree will improve your self-worth in ways like proving your motivation, honing time management skills, and gaining wisdom. Whatever else you do after earning your degree, you’ll increase your self-worth because you did it. On your terms.
Become More Recession-Proof
Although no one is completely immune to the effects of a recession, having a college degree can often help protect your employment or improve your recovery options during an economic downturn. The current and future job market indicates the need for the soft skills that a college education provides. These skills such as communication, collaborative problem solving, and innovative thinking are not easily replaced.
Obtaining your degree can help you develop the skills you have and lead you to a career where you will be most successful. Since employment is much higher in careers requiring higher-level education and preparation, expanding the skills you excel at and identifying the opportunities in which you are able to employ them in a career is essential to being able to weather uncertain economic conditions.
Find the Degree Path That’s Right For You Right Now
Getting a degree is hard. Unfortunately, there aren’t easy shortcuts. But you aren’t looking for an easy way out anyway, are you? Getting a degree will expand your mind, challenge you to keep growing, and open doors that may have previously been closed.
When looking toward your degree choices, invest your time in finding a degree that’s accessible to you and provides the flexibility to match your needs. Antioch University provides online and on-campus degree programs to empower students for career success and meaningful futures. Take a look at Antioch University’s degree programs and get started today.