Should I earn a college degree? This question will impact a person throughout their lives and careers. Other career preparation options are available for recent high school graduates, like trade school or on-the-job training. Nonetheless, the vast majority of well-paying jobs require a college degree.

For working adults, earning a degree opens doors to career advancement, higher pay, and increased job satisfaction.

With this in mind, Northern Michigan University continues to expand its affordable online degree programs, offering people in Michigan and outside the state the opportunity to position themselves for a rewarding future.

Should I Get a Bachelor’s Degree?

A bachelor’s degree exposes students to a deeper understanding of the world around us—its history, language, art, science, and literature. Earning a degree, no matter the specialization, also teaches important life skills applicable in their personal and professionals lives.

Among these skills are:

  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Communications skills
  • Interpersonal skills

In the workplace, these “soft skills” often prove as important as “hard skills.” And when all else is equal among job candidates, soft skills can make one candidate preferable over another.

The benefits of a bachelor’s degree also extend to measurable, practical matters. Statistics often show that college graduates are better off than peers without a degree in these areas.

More Job Opportunities

Many businesses require that job candidates have a bachelor’s degree. By completing a four-year degree, graduates open the door to thousands of more jobs. Between 2020 and 2030, the federal government estimates that in business-related professions more than 875,000 annual job openings will require a bachelor’s degree. There are hundreds of thousands more in science and engineering, education and social services, healthcare, media, arts, and sports.

Higher Salary Potential

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the current salary for those holding a bachelor’s degree is $52,088. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that those with a bachelor’s degree earned $1,001 a week on average, while those with a high school diploma earned $809. People with some college credits but no degree did somewhat better, earning $899 a week on average.

Career Advancement Opportunities

While education requirements for promotion vary by the individual organization and the industry, a bachelor’s degree increases your chances of success in most situations. If not, the skills learned in a four-year program can allow graduates to transition into a career field where a college degree is more highly valued.

Economic Stability

The combination of better pay, higher levels of employment, and a better chance of promotion results in college graduates enjoying a better chance for economic stability. A clear example of this comes in a 2020 survey by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank. In that survey, taken as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country, 89 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree still reported doing “at least OK” financially. In addition, that number was a 12 percent increase over 2013.

Life Satisfaction

Considering the benefits of a bachelor’s degree, it’s little wonder college degrees result in higher levels of job satisfaction. Education also strongly correlates with overall happiness as people grow older.

Why Earn a Bachelor’s Degree at NMU?

NMU Global Campus offers various degree program options for those who decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The school also provides the advantages of enrolling in an online program. Remote learning allows students the flexibility to study and review lectures at a time and place that works for them.

Additional benefits students enjoy include:

  • A ranking as the second most affordable tuition in Michigan
  • A policy allowing students to pay in-state tuition no matter where they live
  • Fast undergraduate transfer evaluations
  • A generous transfer policy that allows up to 90 credits from a community college
  • Flexible payment options
  • Student advising support
  • Career services support

There are significant benefits to earning a bachelor’s degree. With online learning, students now have a better chance than ever to complete a four-year degree program and enjoy those benefits in both their careers and personal lives.