In the midst of a bad economy, you may be wondering, “Is a college degree worth it? It is that important?” Rest assured, experts still assert that a college degree is your best asset when trying to join the workforce. While students with college degrees are often having trouble finding jobs, let alone jobs pertaining to their university major, people who do not have college degrees are having an even harder time.
According to a new research study published by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the majority of jobs lost in the recession were held by workers who did not have a college degree (.pdf).
“The recession hit those with less schooling disproportionately hard—nearly four out of five jobs lost were held by those with no formal education beyond high school,” the introduction to the report said. “At the other end of the spectrum, workers who had completed a four-year college degree or higher were largely protected against job losses during the recession and some high-education fields even had job gains. The job recovery has only increased the divide between the less-educated and more-educated.”
With rising tuition costs and high unemployment rates across the country, many people began to question whether or not a college degree is really important. The study found that graduating from college remains an individual’s best ally in the job market.
Since the economy began a recovery phase, 3.4 million jobs have been added to the workforce. The study reports that all of the gains made were found in individuals who had received at least some level of college education. Students who had received a Bachelor’s degree found 2 million new jobs, and 91 percent of individuals who have an Associate’s degree have recovered the jobs they had before the recession.
Other factors of employment were also discussed, such as gender disparity and post-recession job gains.
“Although women still outnumber men among students enrolled in four-year colleges and graduate programs, the rate of men enrolling in college increased significantly during and after the recession. Though the differences between enrollment growth rates for men and women are marginal, the changes were taking place in the right direction. As a result, instead of a widening gap of college enrollment between men and women, enrollment levels of men and women are expected to parallel each other in the future,” the study said.
Although times may be tough, the benefits of education are indisputable, and experts urge high school seniors to attend college after graduation and attain the highest degree possible. This will ensure that students are well-equipped to find a job and become contributing members of society.