Conflicting Viewpoints Essay - Is a College Education Worth It?

Many people debate whether a college education is worth it or not but to others, not only is it worth it, but it is required today. I am in favor of a college education because many graduates have shown to have higher incomes, better satisfaction in life and have proven their ability to persevere and accomplish a significant milestone. In this paper, I will present evidence of claims to support the fact that a college education is worth it. Some will argue that a college education is not worth it because of the potential of substantial student loan debt and that a degree does not guarantee one learned something or is job-ready. However, I believe that more jobs require a degree, college graduates have more employment opportunities, and the salaries of graduates are higher than non-graduates making a college degree something worth having.
99 % of job growth between 2010 and 2016 went to workers who held an associate's, bachelors, or graduate degree, according to a study in June 2016. Today, businesses are seeking employers who have a higher education than a GED or high school diploma. They use this to weed out the undesirable candidates. Jobs requiring a college degree grew by 187,000 during the recession between December 2007 and January 2010. Numbers of jobs requiring an associates degree or high school diploma declined by the millions. Specifically, 1.75 million for jobs requiring some college or an associates degree and 5.6 million jobs requiring a high school diploma. With these numbers, it is apparent that the desired candidate will hold some form of higher education degree.
Secondly, college graduates have better employment opportunities and allow them to negotiate benefits such as health insurance, higher salaries, retirement plans, and promotions. With a degree, you have the leverage to pursue managerial positions within an organization. "In Jan. 2017, the unemployment rate for college graduates aged 25 and over with a bachelor's degree was 2.5%, compared to 3.8% for those with some college or associates degrees, 5.3% for high school graduates, and 7.7% for high school drop-outs (n.d)." Up credentialing should also be considered. This is a new phenomenon where we see jobs that previously did not demand a degree, such as non-retail sales, customer service, and data entry positions, are increasingly requiring a degree preferred by corporate employers. According to Simply Hire's studies, full-time jobs with an average starting salary of $43,000 had increased by more than 20% for recent graduates in 2015 and projected to rise even more. The data strongly supports that taking the time to further your education will pay off financially in the future as jobs continue to grow.
Finally, the most important premise is the idea that college graduates make more money opposed to high school graduates. With the constant rise of the cost of living, this is an important idea to consider and work towards. "In 2016, the average income for people 25 years old and older with a high school diploma was $35,615, while the income for those with a bachelor's degree was $65,482, and $92,525 for those with advanced degrees (n.d)." From these results, we can conclude that those with a bachelors' degree make almost double than a high school graduate and triple times that with an advanced degree. The interesting part of that is that Forbes's 2012 America's 400 Richest People list contained 85% of their employees who were college graduates. That is a massive percentage compared to those who have made it rich without a degree. 
To conclude, the question is a college education worth it, will always be a debatable one. There is plenty of evidence to support that education is worth the pursuit. According to Pew Research Center, college graduates aged 25-32 earn $17,500 more a year than their peers who hold just a high school diploma. In 2015, they earned 56% more than high school grads per Economic Policy. Ultimately, it depends on the person, their situation, and their stance. Not all degrees are equally useful, so it is essential to tailor your degree appropriately and plan accordingly. Set goals to achieve to ensure you will be able to manage the debt you've acquired in school and still have a fulfilling life.
Is a College Education Worth It? (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2018, from
Background of the Issue - College Education - (n.d.). Retrieved January 13, 2018, from
Bidwell, A. (2014, September 09). US News. How 'Up credentialing' May Close the Middle-Class Path Employers' increasing desire to hire college graduates could squeeze others out of the middle class. Retrieved January 27, 2018, from
Rugaber, C. S. (2017, January 12). Pay gap between college grads and everyone else at a record. Retrieved January 27, 2018, from
(n.d.). Retrieved January 27, 2018, from

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