Is a College Degree Still Worth It?

Is a College Degree Still Worth It?

The cost of college certainly isn’t getting cheaper. In fact, the cost of tuition has risen five times the rate of inflation over the last three-plus decades. And with many parents shelling out upwards hundreds of thousands toward tuition, many may wonder if a college degree is still worth it.  

The good news is that research suggests that the answer is still ‘yes.’ Despite the rising cost of college, degree-holders on average enjoy more long-term benefits than their non-degreed peers. What benefits? People with a bachelor’s degree enjoy higher employment rates, higher salaries, and report greater satisfaction overall. 

3 Reasons Why a College Degree is Still Worth It

Enjoy Job Security 

One of the most significant benefits of holding a bachelor’s degree is that you enjoy a higher employment rate. The more education you have under your belt, the more likely you are to be employed. Need more proof? Well, consider that nearly 90% of 25-to 34-year-olds with a bachelor’s degree or higher are employed. Even a little college is better than none. People with only some college education enjoy an 80% employment rate. The number plummets for those with just a high school degree. For those who forgo college entirely, the employment rate is just 57%.

Secure a Higher Salary

What would you do with an extra $1,000,000?

That’s how much more you’d earn over a lifetime with a bachelor’s degree compared to those with a high school diploma. But you don’t have to wait a lifetime to start seeing the benefits of a four-year degree. Consider the weekly and hourly pay of those with a bachelor’s degree compared to those with just a high school diploma. 

Recent statistics show the average weekly earnings of bachelor’s degree holders vs. those with just a high school diploma. 

  • Less than high school diploma: $592 per week 
  • High school diploma: $746 per week
  • Some college, no degree: $833 per week
  • Associate’s degree: $887 per week
  • Bachelor’s degree: $1,248 per week
  • Master’s degree $1,497 per week
  • Professional degree: $1,861 per week
  • Doctoral degree: $1,883 per week

The hourly pay of a bachelor’s degree holder is twice the wage of a high school graduate. The breakdown, according to, is as followed:

  • Graduate degree holders make $33 per hour.
  • Bachelor’s degree holders make $22 per hour.
  • High school graduates make $11 per hour.
  • High school dropouts make $6 per hour.

Here is a visual representation from Employed Historian.

is college worth it

What does this mean? Bachelor’s degree holders enjoy more financial stability. That means, on average, those with a bachelor’s degree are more likely to own a home and have savings. In comparison, those without a degree are more likely to face financial instability and less likely to have savings for unplanned expenses. 

Experience More Life Satisfaction

Completing a degree is no small feat and many who graduate with a bachelor’s degree report feeling more pride and satisfaction overall for their accomplishments. 

Bachelor’s degree holders also experience more autonomy and career relevance in their chosen fields. Autonomy, how much control you have over your daily work life, and career relevance, how closely your job is related to your desired future career, are strongly associated with job satisfaction, much more so than salary. 

If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can expect to experience more job satisfaction overall—people with just a high school diploma experience less job satisfaction overall. 

But, College is Still Expensive

Despite all of its benefits obtaining a bachelor’s degree doesn’t come without its hurdles. Forty percent of people who start a four-year program will never finish. And one of the biggest reasons why is the cost of college and the burden of student loans. But there is an unlikely solution…Credit-by-Exam. 

What is Credit-by-Exam?

Credit by Exam is a program that allows you to earn credits for a college course by taking and passing one standardized exam on the subject. Passing the exams means you don’t have to sit (or pay) for the class. Thus, you can reduce how much you spend on college and keep more money in your pocket. Not only that, you can finish college up to 1.5 years sooner. Over 3,000 colleges and universities accept Credit-by-Exam. 

Finish College Faster with Smarter with Achieve 

Where does Smarter come in?

Smarter with Achieve is an exam guidance company, which means we help you study to pass Credit-by-Exam tests like CLEP, ECE, and DSST.

Every learner person who preps with Smarter will receive:

  • Instructor guidance. Our instructors will help you brush up on your knowledge before the test day and give you insider information on how the exams are structured.
  • A library of study materials. When you register with Smarter, you get practice tests and guidelines, so you’ll be confident when facing your CLEP, DSST, or ECE exam.
  • Exam-specific questions. Get access to exam-specific questions to help you prep for CLEP.

Are you ready to finish your bachelor’s degree faster than ever? Contact us at Smarter with Achieve today!