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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What’s Your College Degree Worth?
Matt Seats

Graduation is approaching quickly for many at Prescott College (PC). Was it all worth it? What difference can that shiny new diploma make for you and your future? According to 2012 US labor statistics, it can mean a lot!

Those graduating with a Bachelor’s degree are likely to earn 1.6 times as much as they might have had they decided to skip college and go straight into the job market from high school. Those who earn a Master’s degree are likely to double the salary they would have gotten with only a high school diploma! Over the course of a lifetime, that can mean the difference between living check-to-check or owning your own home, or farm, or having money in the bank when you retire one day.

With a Master’s degree, you can expect to earn 1 million dollars more in your lifetime than if you only had a high school diploma – and nearly two million dollars more than if you had dropped out of high school! Starting to feel a little better about spending the time and money on college? You should. College isn’t a thing you spent money on that you’ll never see again. College is an investment in your future, a means to a more solid and stable income, choices. Your PC education has been a valuable exercise in interdisciplinary learning and applying what you learned to real-world situations.

So what is next? Some will leave school and head straight to work in the field that they have studied for the past four (or six – or more) years. Others will start their own businesses, or nonprofits, or move into charitable work for others. Some will return to school next semester for more advanced degrees, or begin teaching others the things they learned. And some…well, some just don’t know yet – and that’s ok!

Most PC grads have just completed 16-20 years of nonstop education. That is a HUGE achievement! It’s ok if post-graduation plans haven’t progressed beyond taking a week, or a month, or a year off to decompress and explore your options. You’ve earned it.

So go home, see family, visit friends, travel the country, or the world. Expand your horizons. Think about the things you might want to do in your future and try them on for size for a while. See if they “fit” or not. You have the tools to try out the things you love to do as a profession now. PC has prepared you to be a leader. So take control, be decisive, and never let anyone tell you that something can’t be done. You know better. Jump in and make a difference in the world! And know that your college degree has given you the power to create, and earn, a better future.

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