Though many of us have seen all the statistics that say how having a degree can improve our employability throughout our lives, as well as enable us to earn more money, get promoted quicker, and reach a higher ceiling in our careers, most of us also know people who are high achievers and who didn’t go to college.
Indeed, in the world of social media we are often confronted with reminders of notable and successful people who didn’t undertake any higher education, with Steve Jobs and Richard Branson probably the two mentioned most frequently.
At the same time, many of us reach a stage in our lives where we wrongly believe it is “too late” for us to better ourselves or improve our education. However, with people often reaching their 40’s or 50’s – and sometimes even earlier – and reassessing their lives and opting for a career change, there are many opportunities to improve our lifestyle via education, regardless of where we are at in life.
In 2015 a MarketWatch study put the value of a degree at $1million.
That’s right, with a degree you’ll earn $1million more throughout your career, on average, than someone without a degree. Given that $1million is the figure at which you become a high net worth individual, if attaining this status is one of your motivations and ambitions, having a degree is going to help you achieve it.
We’ve already looked above at how a degree can improve your job prospects. Beyond getting a better job, earning more money, and leaving you able to afford to consider a career change or break, there are numerous other lifestyle benefits you’ll enjoy.
While it might stand to reason that earning more money means you can afford to borrow more on your mortgage and get a better house, and drive a better car, it also means you can go further, enabling you to follow the Australian Dream with a beach house as a holiday home, a second car, and some additional investments on top of that. By having more money to start with you give yourself a better chance of acquiring even more assets and greater wealth.
Since you earn more, it’s easier to save without compromising your lifestyle. While you may have a pension plan offered by an employer regardless of whether you have a degree, if you have that education behind you and are earning more money your private pension options will widen.
The College Board found in 2011 that employees with degrees were more likely to find themselves with employer provided health insurance. While this may be a consequence of people with degrees go further up the career ladder where health insurance becomes an added benefit from an employer, it also stands true that even without employer provided insurance, again because you’ll have more money, it will be easier to access plans anyway.
Not having health insurance is a quick way to see your savings disappear if a medical emergency hits, so if your degree can help you get a better level of cover it is definitely going to prove worthwhile.
Let’s take money and related aspects out of the question and look at the great intangible of happiness. A degree doesn’t guarantee you’ll love every minute of your career, but it does mean you’re likely to have a higher level of career satisfaction. When you have a degree you also give yourself more choices; if you have a degree you can always move to another job that requires you to be degree educated. If you don’t have a degree then you might be limited in how you can change your career and where you’re headed in life.
Regardless of where you are in your life, thanks to organisations like the Open University you always have the option of getting more qualifications and giving yourself the opportunity to improve your lifestyle. Employers won’t put any less value on a degree earned in your 30’s or 40’s compared to someone who went to University from 18 to 21. In fact, given all the experience you’ll already have of the workplace, you may find yourself being viewed even more favourably by employers in the future!
If you want to change your life through education, don’t let finances hold you back. Here at NOW FINANCE we offer an education loan option that is open both to those going to University in their younger years or those exploring opportunities to change their lives a few years later. Simply decide what you want to study, work out what it will cost, and get in touch.
With NOW FINANCE you can get your interest rate before you apply so you know exactly what it will cost.
What are you waiting for? Start changing your life today!