How To Determine Your Return On Investment With A Bachelor’s Degree
While there are certainly plenty of jobs out there where a 4-year degree is required, there are also many professional instances where a formal Bachelor’s degree may not be the best way to go. To know whether or not you really need a Bachelor’s degree, or more education, to achieve your career and development objectives, there will be a few key points that you will want to consider, as you plan out your overall career prep.
To get something of a high-level view of the situation, a recent Georgetown University Report overviewing the calendar year of 2020 revealed that 35% of current job openings require a Bachelor’s degree or higher for the role. About 30% of jobs were shown to require some college (or specialty certification) and/or an Associate’s degree. And, 36% of jobs required a high school diploma and/or GED. According to the same report, job openings in healthcare, community services, and STEM are projected to grow the fastest among occupational clusters. And, judgment/decision-making, communications, analysis, and administration will likely be the four most in-demand competencies in the labor market.
If you are considering pursuing a 4-year degree, or higher trajectory, then here are some key career prep points (framed as questions) to keep in mind, as you judge whether or not the return will be worth the investment of your time, energy, and finances…
Career Prep Point #1: Have you considered the return on investment for your particular area of professional focus?
This point tends to come down to the numbers, plain and simple. If the job you are striving towards pays less than $40,000 per year (as an example), and you will ultimately end up saddled with student loans in excess of an amount like $60,000 after graduation, then you may want to pause and look at other career track and educational options to reach your goals. Only you will be able to decide what level of investment you’re really comfortable with in the long run, but being objective and reviewing the numbers, along with likely career outcomes, will allow you to get a better sense on whether or not a 4-year degree is really worth the money for the career you are intending to pursue.
Career Prep Point #2: Do you actually want to focus your studies on an industry or on developing a particular skill?
This is a question about career prep and education that few take into consideration before contemplating college. Let’s use the industry of healthcare as an example here. Do you want your focus to be broadly applied to the healthcare industry for a position like “hospital administrator?” Do you want your focus to be on a defined and licensed professional track, with many skills sets, like “registered nurse?” Or, do you prefer to specialize and want to learn one in-demand skill like that done by a “sonographer?” Knowing your own temperament and career goals will help you better explore this area, know what it is you really want, and find the best way to go about getting the education you really need… which may or may not entail getting a Bachelor’s degree.
Career Prep Point #3: Have you explored and considered all of your career pathways and educational options?
While many students are told as early as middle school to start preparing for college, this does not always need to translate into the singular path of attaining a Bachelor’s degree. Have you truly considered all of you options, such as career and technical education centers, online classes and certifications from schools around the world, apprenticeships (where you can actually earn money while you learn), technical and community colleges, and even well-respected arts and crafts organizations? The world is changing fast these days, and many new educational and career prep pathways are opening up for students just starting their careers, and for professionals looking to up-skill and re-skill along their journeys.
Career Prep can make a big difference in greater career trajectory and life skills. To learn more about the key benefits of career prep for teens, be sure to check out this Stride Insights article here!
Not sure how to strengthen your resume for the job you want? Be sure to check out the article, Volunteering Is A Great Way To Build A Resume.
Wondering if Stride Career Prep can help you better achieve your goals? Visit the site to learn more about all of the options that Stride can offer you: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep.html