There are many benefits to completing your college degree. Yet according to reports, only 19% of full time students earn their bachelor’s degree in four years. Let’s take a look at some reasons why finishing your degree is important, college degree benefits, and how to make finishing your degree easier.
What happens if you don’t finish your degree?
Dropping out of college is not an easy decision. Students facing this crossroads are typically struggling with money, time, and/or personal responsibilities that make school unrealistic.
Unfortunately, hitting pause on your degree will halt other areas of your life, including:
- Fewer career opportunities: Depending on your chosen field, some jobs require a degree in order to advance. For example, nurses cannot take on higher paying roles without finishing their RN degree.
- Limited earning potential: It may be harder to get your desired salary without a college degree. Employers are more likely to hire and promote those with higher education.
- Lower satisfaction: Being stalled in your career can lead to personal frustration, disappointment, and unrealized potential.
For these reasons and many more, going back to school is worth it.
Can I go back and finish my degree?
Yes! No matter your age or where you left off, you can go back to school and finish your degree. In fact, studies show that more than a third of today’s college students are adults over the age 25 who’ve gone back to school after a break.
College is now more accessible than ever, thanks to education innovations such as online learning, bridge programs, and accelerated degrees. These options make fitting education into busy work and home-life schedules more manageable.
One way to ease back into education is by testing out of prerequisite courses. Adult students can bypass foundational classes in subjects such as math, history, writing, and more by taking a proficiency test. This method earns the same college credits in significantly less time, creating a gentler reintroduction to education.
A college degree will benefit you by allowing you to:
- Earn More. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a college graduate can expect to earn more than 66% more than a high school graduate over their work career.
- Have More Self-Confidence. Just by seeing it through, you have proven to yourself, family, and possible employers that you have what it takes to take on and finish tasks. Employers see a degree as a sign that you know how to succeed. Studies show that the more education you have, the better you take care of yourself, the healthier you eat, and the better you can handle daily stress.
- Be Less Likely to Be Unemployed. College graduates are 50% less likely to be unemployed and periods of unemployment will be less than those that don’t graduate. Getting a degree shows employers that you are serious about your career, and that you can follow through on commitments, making you a desirable employee.
- Be a Positive Role Model. By getting your degree, you are emphasizing the importance of education. The children of parents with college degrees are more likely to be successful in education as well.
- Be Better Equipped to Compete. More and more employers are requiring college degrees. While the demand for college graduates increases, the number obtaining those degrees is not significantly increasing. Having a degree gives you an edge over job seekers who do not.
- More Easily Switch Fields. Should you decide to change careers, having a degree, even in a different field, gives you an advantage. Much of the knowledge and college credit gained previously can be applied to a new field or degree.
- Have More Security and a Better Lifestyle. Those with higher levels of education typically have better job security, and more opportunity for promotion. With that stability and the higher pay, your lifestyle will change.
- Be Better Prepared for a Global Economy. With outsourcing, cloud based enterprises, and worldwide job markets, you could be competing with job seekers from around the world. Your degree helps you compete.
- Be More Flexible. A college degree opens up more opportunities, even in fields that aren’t in your major.
- Improve Discipline and Develop Strong Character. Obtaining a degree takes discipline and a will to succeed. By getting your degree, you overcome procrastination and learn to do what it takes to reach your goal.
How can you make it easier to get your degree?
To finish your education, you'll need to find solutions that fit your needs. Working adults in particular are often more successful when they find programs with flexible schedules and manageable workloads. Achieve Test Prep is based on the credit-by-exam method which allows students to test out of college courses while earning the same credits. This system empowers you to pass college courses with less stress, working toward your goals without sacrificing work/life balance.