The Value of Higher Education
For many individual students preparing to graduate from high school, wondering whether or not they should pursue a higher education at a university or other learning institute is an issue that weighs heavily on their minds. It is a very difficult decision that depends on many different factors, such as the individual’s personal goals. Some students choose to go straight from high school directly into the workforce after graduating. Other students choose to go into the military after graduating from high school. While these are all different options, recent research indicates that higher education is extremely valuable.
Recent research indicates that higher education is extremely valuable. For, individuals whom attended a university and obtained at least a four-year bachelor’s degree make more money on average than people who have never obtained a university degree according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a study conducted by the United States Bureau of Labor conducted in 2009, it was concluded that someone with a four-year bachelor’s degree makes on average $20,748 more per year than someone without the degree.
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In a report done by the United States Census Bureau published in the “Current Population Report” by ?Jennifer Cheeseman Day and? Eric C. Newburger, it is estimated that high school graduates earn on average $1.2 million throughout the course of a lifetime. It is also estimated in the report that individuals with a bachelor’s degree will earn on average $2.1 million total throughout their lifetime. As you can see, the facts show that getting a higher education is worth more value financially than stopping an education after graduating from high school.
In addition to the high financial value of higher education, higher education also makes individuals much more intelligent than what they would be with just a high school education. The more intelligent an individual is, the better quality of life they are likely to have. In “Wechsler’s Measure and Appraisal of Adult Intelligence, 5th Edition” by Joseph D. Matarazzo, Matarazzo states that the average intelligence quotient (IQ) of a high school graduate is 105 points. He also states that the average intelligence quotient (IQ) of a college four-year graduate is 115 points. To quote Sociologist Linda Gottfredson of the University of Deleware, “IQ scores predict a wider range of important social outcomes than perhaps any other psychological trait; … bright people have a tail wind in virtually all aspects of life.” What she means by this quote is that the higher an individual’s intelligence quotient, the higher the quality of life that they will have.
This is true because those with higher intelligent quotients have higher problem solving abilities that correlate to better life qualities. In an Australian study studied by Gottfredson, motor vehicle fatalities were studied, correlating intelligence quotients with motor vehicle fatalities. In the study, there was a direct correlation discovered between those with lower intelligence quotients, and higher death rates per 10,000 people. Ian Deary of the University of Edinburgh, in the United Kingdom did another study that shows how those individuals with higher intelligence quotients have higher qualities of life than those with lower intelligence quotients. For his study, he looked into the childhood intelligence quotient scores of a group of 80 year olds. In his study, he found that those who scored the highest on their childhood intelligence quotient tests were also the healthiest at age 80. These studies serve as evidence that having a higher intelligence quotient improves the quality of your life. College students who graduate with at least a Bachelor’s degree have on average higher intelligence quotients than those students who didn’t attend college, which means that those students who do graduate college with a degree will have a better quality of life than those who don’t.
Another reason why getting a higher education is very valuable is because it offers many new opportunities to students that they would be unable to get without having attended a university. Most, if not all, universities and other higher education systems offer many activities in which students will get to meet many other new students. Many students will meet new friends who often become some of the best friends that they’ve ever had. There are also almost always sports, clubs, and other activities to get involved with that would be unavailable to those not attending a higher education system. Many people participate on sports teams in high school such as football, baseball, field hockey, soccer, basketball, wrestling, track and field, and softball, to name a few. After they graduate high school they do not have many opportunities to participate in their favorite sports ever again. Whether it is for competitive purposes or just for enjoyment purposes, universities offer the opportunities to participate in some of their past favorite sports, or experiment with new ones.
Another opportunity that students of higher education systems have exposure to that those who do not attend higher education systems do not have as readily available is the opportunity to study abroad. Studying abroad means taking educational classes in a country other than one’s own. Unless they are particularly financially wealthy, the majority of the individuals that do not attend higher education systems never get the opportunity to live in foreign countries for the entire length of a semester. According to a BBC news report, about 114,000 higher education system students study abroad each year at universities in foreign countries. Studying abroad is a great opportunity for higher education system students to take advantage of. When one studies abroad, they get the chance to learn about another culture through first hand experience, they get the chance to learn how to fluently speak a foreign language by merely being exposed to it for a period of time, and it is very prestigious to have on a resume. Author W.E.B. DuBois among other successful celebrities studied abroad. He studied at the university of Berlin in Germany for two years. Studying abroad is just another example of a way that higher education systems give their students more opportunities than those who do not attend them.
Higher education systems can also be considered very valuable because they provide individuals with life skills that are essential to being successful in life. While studying at a higher education system, one is forced to develop essential time management skills much more so than at the high school level. With time needed for studying, attending classes, completing homework, relaxation, and doing fun things as well, one needs to manage their time in order to avoid failing out. These time management skills help out individuals later on in life. Another important life skill that individuals who attend higher education systems gain is money management skills. Some higher education system students work part-time jobs, but the majority are unable to find the time to do so on top of their schoolwork, so the only money they have for spending is either money their parents give to them, or money that they saved up before going to college. Either way, most students are on tight financial budgets that require discipline to maintain. Students learn to only spend money on things that they absolutely need, and to save up their money rather than spending it all at once. These money management skills help the students later in life.
While attending a higher education system offers many positives, it also offers certain negatives. One negative is the fact that higher education schools are often very expensive. Colleges are expensive, and it is hard for a lot of families to afford to pay for, however this is not a good reason for not attending. If one starts early enough, they can save money, look into financial aide opportunities, and apply for scholarship opportunities to help pay for their tuition. It has already been shown that the amount of money that college students will make after graduation is much higher than the amount of money those who do not attend will make, so if someone can make sacrifices in order to pay for college then when they have a career someday they will make it all back plus more.
Another negative to going straight to a higher education system is that people are getting later starts to their careers. Some people choose to work minimum wage jobs, or take other opportunities like opening their own businesses. These options are all respectable, and sometimes do end up making people large sums of money, but the facts given to us by the United States Bureau of Labor show that the vast majority of the time this is not the case. No matter how tempting it may be to take a good wage job right after high school, it is always more financially beneficially to attend a higher education system.
In conclusion, the evidence shows us that attending higher education systems is extremely valuable. One reason that it is extremely valuable is that it offers many great financial benefits. Another reason is that it makes individuals more intelligent. Those who attend higher education systems also have more opportunities available to them than those who do not attend them. Attending higher education systems also teach great skills that are essential for being successful in life. In short, higher education systems are extremely valuable