Golden Rule #5

Hiring managers today get too many applications for employment, especially in the current economy.  With unemployment rates hovering in the 7-8% range, you might say that it’s an “employer’s market.”  Hiring managers need to quickly weed the stack of applications received down to something more manageable. HR departments step in to help managers by first separating out those who have a college degree from those who don’t.  Those without the degree quickly get set aside and may never be considered.  While this may not seem fair, it does demonstrate the tangible value of a college degree in today’s job market.  A college degree proves that you can read, write and articulate ideas. It shows that you have persistence to make it through four years and can accomplish your goals in the face of difficult challenges.

In addition, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that  weekly earnings for 2012 for those with a college degree to be 60% more than those with a high school degree.  Those with a college degree experienced unemployment at nearly half the level of those with a high school degree.  Over a lifetime this pays off, to the tune of $2.27 million (see US News & World Report).

So, here’s rule #5:

Rule #5: You need to understand that your future rests solidly on the education you get. At times it may seem difficult or even impossible, but it will pay off if you persevere. A quality education opens so many doors that would otherwise be shut, locked, and bolted. Tightly.

This is not to say that money is the only thing.  A college degree has many benefits and opportunities that are not as tangible.  According to Morton Schapiro, president and professor of economics at Northwestern University,, “People with higher levels of education are more likely to have rewarding jobs, more likely to exercise regularly, less likely to smoke, more likely to be active voters and volunteers, and more likely to engage in activities with their children.”  In short, a college degree benefits both the individual and society as a whole.

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