College Should Not Be Ruled Out by Students

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In this paper, the primary aim is to show there are more benefits attributable to individuals who pursue a college education. Apart from the financial benefits, there are societal benefits where the well-being of college educated students is better compared to their non-college educated counterparts. Mainly, the paper addresses income differences and job satisfaction between individuals who have and those that lack a college education. The subsections in the paper include an introduction, a literature review, and a methodology.

The two main benefits accruing to individuals with a college education include job satisfaction and higher earnings over time. However, attributing the differences between college educated individuals and their non-college educated counterparts to education alone are inappropriate. For this reason, a college education is among the many factors that have an influence on one's income and earnings and the job satisfaction they derive from their current employment. Despite arguments that a college education is not worth the money and time invested, college is an expense but pays for itself. Attending a four-year university is something more students should strive to do.

The literature review focuses on the relationship between college education and high-income earnings together with job satisfaction. On the other hand, the methodology takes a look at the type of research variables, procedure, instruments, and data analysis for the study. The methodology gives a statistical approach to how important college education is considering that other individuals overlook its long-term benefits.


In most instances, individuals quantify the time spent in doing something in terms of monetary compensation. Similarly, many people consider the time and cost spent in pursuing a four-year college education are not worth the benefits that accrue afterward. On the other hand, documentation of the link between college education and economic prosperity is perfect. There are other benefits apart from these two which are not known widely as quantification of these benefits is difficult (Murray). However, viewing the overall income and earnings for both college-educated employees and those non-college educated reveals a big difference in terms of earnings and job satisfaction.

A college education besides the negative perceptions held by other people enables those educated to secure higher future earnings. Thus, it provides a range of opportunities for these individuals. However, it would be inappropriate to attribute all the differences between the college-educated workforce and non-college educated to the higher learning. Individuals succeed through pursuing various paths and the choice to proceed with higher education is a personal decision.

This paper will focus on the two main benefits accruing to individuals with a college education which include job satisfaction and higher earnings over time. Salary and earnings are the primary benefits and in most instances, overshadow other benefits. Important to note is the gradual increase of the income as the educated workforce proceed along in their career. On the other hand, job satisfaction goes hand-in-hand with personal development in a given field. The room for personal development plays a critical role in generating job satisfaction, and college education ensures the workforce has the required skills for growth.

The knowledge gap that exists regarding the importance of college education is mainly related to the time taken to pursue the college course and the respective costs. The primary claim is that most higher learning institutions fail to invest adequate time to studying. Unlike the notion that full-time college students should spend approximately 45 hours of study on a weekly basis, they study for less than 20 hours (Hrabowski, Freeman). For this reason, many people think college is a waste of time, and the costs are unreasonably high compared to the knowledge imparted to students. Moreover, it is estimated that close to 25 percent of students in colleges dedicate more time for study apart from the time allocated by the administration.

On the other hand, pursuing a college education does not only equip students with educational knowledge but also prepares them for their future life. It turns out that the time spent in college (no income) is compensated by the higher incomes earned by college graduates and the job satisfaction they receive compared to their non-college educated counterparts. Apart from the career and economic benefits of proceeding to pursue a college education, there are social and emotional benefits among others. Moreover, a college education enables one to become an effective citizen through participation in civic matters, and they provide better quality lives to their children.

Four-year university education enables students to engage in academics and community service. Additionally, the management and administrative roles are at the disposal of students who proceed to pursue a college education. Failure to attain the contentment in a particular field stems from the inadequate specialist development one has. The workforce that fails to attend college often lacks the required specialty.


Literature Review

A college education is considered one of the most valuable prerequisites to the career world one can have. They say that college not only is a time for educational growth but also for one to experience life for the first time on their own, and to enhance upon instilled morals and values, experience the cultural and working world, and become a wholesome, well-rounded person. Despite the positive trend for more students to attend a four-year university, many say the return received is not worth the money or time invested into school. However, a college degree can create more job opportunities, job satisfaction and increase the income for an individual. Students should attend a four-year university if the circumstances permit, and the opportunity is present.

            To begin with, a college education and degree can create more job opportunities for a graduate. According to Freeman Hrabowski, the fastest growing job categories require at least a college degree (Hrabowski). Furthermore, those with a college degree are more likely to be employed than those with a high school diploma. “20 Great Jobs Without a College Degree” is a list of jobs requiring at least a bachelor’s degree of some sort, and even a sales manager position would rather hire a candidate with a four-year college degree than a candidate with fewer credentials. There are more jobs willing to work with someone who has a four-year degree because they have shown initiative, perseverance, and are probably much better-rounded students. Job opportunities are visible to college students even as they progress through their education. Most universities offer a career development center, career fairs, resume building workshops, internship fairs, and much more opportunities for students to find their career. By the time a student is in their fourth year of college, they are often working and well marketed to the job force around them. This makes for a wide range of career opportunities for college students.

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            Some arguments regarding going to college claim it is not worth the time nor the money invested, whereas others believe that a higher education is important.  Charles Murray even argues that there are too many students enrolled in four-year universities and that more students should attend schools fit their skill and pay grade levels (2008). It is true that college is not the right path for every student! For those who have a harder time transitioning, universities have many services in place that work with students from less educated backgrounds and environments and help them to succeed. However, success cannot be measured with a degree. You will succeed in any job regardless of education level when you love what you are doing. Finances should not be a reason that a student does not attend a university. According to about 66% of students currently enrolled in a university are on financial aid, and only about 30% of this aid is in the forms of loans (Hrabowski). This means that there may be a cost of zero dollars to attend a four-year university. Choosing not to attend a four-year university does not lessen one’s intelligence, moral value, or work ethic. Even for those who do not attend college still, have job opportunities. Some students may succeed more in a six month, two years, or other vocational training program that specializes in one skill. The opportunities for students who choose not to attend college are also limitless. These people can still find happiness in their lives, content in their work, and success financially just like students who attend four-year or longer college programs.

            Despite arguments that a college education is not worth the money and time invested, college is an expense but pays for itself. Attending a four-year university is something more students should strive to do! A college diploma and education increases job opportunities, job satisfaction, and the amount of money in a household. Students who have graduated college are finding they can take on much more responsibility than those who did not do the same; these students become the backbone of our society. The students enrolled in universities today are the doctors, lawyers, and CEOs of our future.

Job Satisfaction

According to Thomas and Daniel, job satisfaction entails being innovative and creative in every aspect of one’s career (Thomas and Walter 92). A college education not only equips students with the necessary skills they need, but it also enables them to be competitive when it comes to the job environment. For this reason, a college education becomes almost necessary for job satisfaction. Four-year university education enables students to engage in academics and community service. Additionally, the management and administrative roles are at the disposal of students who proceed to pursue a college education. Failure to attain the contentment in a particular field stems from the inadequate specialist development one has. The workforce that fails to attend college often lacks the required specialty. Hence, they encounter more issues in growing their careers compared to their counterparts who proceeded with higher education.

Additionally, those who have attended and secured themselves a four-year university degree are more likely to receive the required satisfaction in their line of work than those who may not have done the same. While there is no direct correlation between satisfaction at work and level of education, it is found to be true that the better someone is at their job, the more satisfaction they get out of it. Murray opened the discussion about “intrinsic rewards” in “Are Too Many People Going to College?” If someone has goals of becoming a doctor, but they choose to pursue the path that is not consistent with going to college, this person will never truly be satisfied in their career (Murray). At a young age, we all aspire to be something big—often the careers we dream of requiring a college degree! If our true passions lead us to a college education, we will innately become more satisfied workers than those who work where they truly are not happy.        

Important to note is the number of individuals joining colleges and universities keeps increasing with time. The upward trend reveals that people acknowledge the benefits that come along with having a college education. Employers use education as a gauge to measure the skills an employer possesses. Moreover, certain companies only attract employees with a given level of education. The job performance of both students with diplomas and those without comprises of core task behaviors, productive behaviors, and citizenship behaviors (Thomas and Walter 87). The above factors make these students vulnerable to job dissatisfaction. While the core and productive practices involve the routine activities, citizen performance entails other tasks not classified under the essential tasks. College education is known to enhance one’s effectiveness in having these behaviors. Thus, a four-year degree is critical in ensuring meeting the job performance demands which generates job satisfaction. For this reason, students should not overlook college education.

Earnings and Salary

College education offers students a myriad of opportunities and the income they earn places them in a better place to have good savings and better yet access loans. The perception towards college education in the past years gave little attention to the well-being of individuals after completion of studies. According to Jez, despite there being arguments against the cost incurred to secure a college degree or diploma, we have overlooked the pitfalls arising from not proceeding to college (Jez 721). Salary and earnings play a crucial role in determining the quality of life one lives. Moreover, the employees with a college education contribute more than the other proportion of the labor force towards the societal well-being given their annual income. Thus, higher education plays a crucial role in facilitating equity in the income distribution.

Attending college increases the amount of money in a household. According to Stephanie Owen and Isabell Sawhill’s “Should Everyone Go to College?” the earnings of a bachelor’s degree is worth nearly millions more than the earnings of someone who works and does not have a degree. While there are exceptions, most people who graduate from a four-year university will make more money than those who do not. The earnings for students seeking a higher education continue to earn more than individuals not seeking a degree. The information below is taken from, compares salaries for entry level positions for candidates with and without a college four-year degree.

Source: Careercast




No College Required




4-year degree or higher








From the above chart, while the salary for someone who proceeded to enroll for a four-year university degree will continue to increase over the span of one’s life, it may remain stagnant for someone who has not obtained a degree.  According to Tiffany Hsu, an average, doctorate will earn about 3.3 million dollars over the course of a lifetime. On the other hand, a college graduate may earn about 2.3 million dollars over the course of a lifetime, and a high school graduate will earn about 1.3 million dollars over the course of a lifetime (2011) The cost of going to college is rewarded in salary for sure.

 A college education requires students to sacrifice their time which their counterparts who do not pursue the same path use to generate income for themselves. However, upon completion, the income they receive after employment enable them to catch up with their non-college educated peers in a relatively shorter time. The lifetime income of a college educated employee is approximately 25 percent higher than that of high school graduate (Jez 728). The gap grows bigger for individuals holding masters and doctoral degrees. Hence, college education plays a noticeable role towards receiving a better income and students should proceed to college if at all they are capable of continuing with their studies.

A college education apart from the negative perceptions people have about it, the educated students can secure higher future earnings. For this reason, it provides a variety of options for these individuals to pursue in a bid to earn income. However, it would be inappropriate to solely attribute all the differences between the college-educated workforce and non-college educated to the higher learning. Individuals succeed through pursuing various paths and the choice to proceed with higher education is a personal decision. A college education guarantees graduates of a particular set of benefits which are relative to the physical capital invested in education. While some may prefer to invest the amount in other ventures, proceeding to college and later earning a relatively higher income is the long-term return.


The study investigates the impact of college education on the earnings received by the workforce. Moreover, it evaluates the link between job satisfaction and college education. The participants in the study include working individuals who have expertise in different fields through the college education they earned. On the other hand, non-college educated workforce will be part of the study with the main focus being on their annual incomes and salaries and the satisfaction they receive from their careers.

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The procedure for the study entails collection of quantitative data from the two autonomous groups (College educated and non-college educated workforce). The sample size for the study will be 150 participants which will include both skilled and unskilled workers. The basic salary of the participants will be studied through convenient sampling in a bid to avoid any bias in the study. On the issue related to job satisfaction and having a college education, the data collected will be qualitative. The independent variables are the educational level of the participants while there are two dependent variables: job satisfaction and earnings and salary.


The primary instrument for use in the data collection is a questionnaire which will have three subsections. The first section will require the participant to provide their bio data among other personal details. The second section will need the participant to quantify the extent to which proceeding to college or not has assisted in earning more income based on the factors discussed in the literature review. There will be questions related to annual income, the job category, and the job safety in this section. Lastly, the third section will include questions related to job satisfaction depending on the level of education of the participant. Questions in this section will target the promotion, working conditions, among other factors that influence an employee’s job satisfaction.

Data Analysis

The statistical packages will be used in the analysis of the data collected to ensure accuracy and reliability. Statistical functions will entail the use of SPSS depending on the nature of data collected.

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Works Cited

Addison, Liz. “Two Years Are Better Than Four.” New York Times. 26 Sept. 2007. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

Hrabowski, Freeman. “Colleges Prepare People for Life. - Tribunedigital-Baltimoresun.” The Baltimore Sun. N.p., 22 Dec. 2013. Web. 6Apr. 2016.

Hsu, Tiffany. “College Graduates Earn 84% More than High School Grads, Study Says.” LA Times Blogs - Money & Company. 5 Aug. 2011. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.Jez, Su. "The Differential Impact Of Wealth Versus Income In The College-Going Process." Research In Higher Education 55.7 (2014): 710-734. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

Murray, Charles. “Are Too Many People Going to College?” AEI American Enterpise Institute.  N.p., 8 Sept. 2008. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.Thomas, Walter and Daniel, Feldman. "How Broadly Does Education Contribute To Job Performance?". Personnel Psychology, vol 62, no. 1, 2009, pp. 89-134. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2008.01130.x.

Owen, Stephanie, and Isabel V. Sawhill. “Should Everyone Go To College?” The Brookings Institution. 8 May 2013. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

“Pay for College - Financial Aid: FAQs.” College Board-Pay for College.  Web.    Apr. 2016.

Robinson, Jennifer. “Does Higher Education = Higher Job Satisfaction?” Gallup. Gallup Inc. 24 Sept. 2002. Web. 6 Apr 2016.

Careercast. "20 Great Jobs Without a College Degree." Web. 6 Apr. 2016.


January 11, 2017



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