Many college students inevitably question the wisdom of spending tens of thousands of dollars and several years of their lives earning a bachelor’s degree.
This is especially true when students face setbacks such as disappointing grades or depressing financial problems.
The stresses of college life make a full-time job as a waiter, bartender or other non-degree requiring occupations seem highly attractive, as it could provide extra money and more time to spend partying and having fun.
However, students need to think twice about their future employment options, as new information depicts a vastly growing discrepancy between college-educated individuals and those lacking a higher education.
According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, professional and business services saw an increase of 78,000 jobs in the last month, the most since 2005.
Since January, 521,000 new jobs have been created for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher in the U.S. During the same time there was a decrease of 318,000 jobs for those with only a high school diploma.
Despite the increase in employment opportunities, only 24.4 percent of people over 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
This means it’s becoming much easier for the limited number of college graduates to find a job and much harder for everyone else. Even for customer service jobs, employers are looking at college education as a way to weed through the large pools of applicants they’re currently receiving, according to USA Today.
Having better luck finding a job isn’t the only benefit stemming from a college degree.
The median household income for those with only a high school diploma is $39,962 a year, while households with a bachelor’s degree or higher have a median income of $85,127, according to 2008 census figures.
That means that college-educated individuals make a lot more money too.
It’s no surprise that it’s becoming harder to find a job without a college degree, as it coincides with the realities of a globalized world that’s allowing jobs that don’t require an education to be outsourced with much lower labor costs to U.S. companies.
Reaching a middle class lifestyle in the U.S. will continually become more difficult, if not impossible, without first stopping at college to grab a degree.
That’s why it’s critical for students already fortunate enough to have made it to USF, or any university, to stick it out. There’s really no other option for U.S. job seekers beyond having limited occupational choices or moving to a foreign country.