Imagine you're standing on stage receiving your degree. What an exciting moment! You put in the work, achieved your goal, and now you can reap the rewards. So…what exactly changes now that you've earned that degree?
1. Your Resume Sings
We all know that receiving a diploma is a shining moment in the life of any graduate, but there are other impressive moments to come! Just imagine the first time you sit at your computer and update your resume and LinkedIn with your new degree, pertinent coursework, and internship, volunteer, or job shadow experiences. Or the first time you review a job description and realize that you have the degree requirement they're asking for!
As time goes on you'll begin to realize that your degree isn't just a personal accomplishment that is won and done, it's an accomplishment that will have lasting results and will make you eligible for more benefits down the road! Can you imagine a better feeling?
2. You Take Advantage of New Writing Skills and Connections
Every class you take in college will improve your writing skills. When you graduate, having that next level of polished communication skills under your belt will pay off when writing cover letters, resumes, and even thank you emails.
There's no doubt that presentation skills are important and desirable, but you'll also have new professional references and contacts to help bolster your application materials. These are lifetime connections such as faculty, other students, and staff that you may not have met if you hadn't taken the time to earn your degree. One of these contacts could be the one to help you land that next job.
3. You Land an Interview or Promotion
Remember that new degree you added to your resume? It's going to unlock doors that had previously been closed to you. You'll land that interview and in time, you'll land the job, too. A degree is a foundation and your career will build on top of the skills and credentials you've already accomplished by graduation. And when you’re looking for that promotion at work to a position that requires a bachelor's degree or one that requires a master's, you will have it!
Not only will you land that interview or promotion, you'll also be better prepared to do well in an interview with all the experiences you've had while attending college. Did you learn something about public speaking? Critical thinking? Communication? Teamwork? Being prepared and planning ahead? Imagine what these hard and soft skills can do for you as you move on to the next steps of your life!
4. Your Family Goes to College
It may be many years down the line or it could be sooner than you think, but there's hard evidence to suggest that the fact that you earned a degree will make the next generation more likely to earn a degree as well. Can you imagine your own children standing at the podium to receive their diploma? What about their children?
There are lasting benefits too, such as more earnings over your lifetime and more earnings over their lifetime which equals a better standard of living for your entire family for generations to come.
When you finish your degree, you've accomplished something that will echo throughout your family for years down the line. Now that's a lasting benefit!
5. You Earn More Money
We hear it all the time: college graduates earn more money over their lifetime than high school grads. It's true!
According to the Pew Research Center millennial college grads make $17,500 more than high school grads and the National Center for Policy Analysis estimates that, in 2012, the median weekly earnings of individuals with bachelor's degrees were about $400 higher than high school graduates. Workers with a professional degree earn the most, about $1,100 more than a high school graduate per week.
However you slice the data, these higher earnings can mean a lot of different things, from having a better standard of living and a more comfortable lifestyle to one of the most important under-appreciated benefits: you'll be better prepared for retirement.
Does that surprise you? It shouldn't! The National Center for Policy Analysis states, "Each additional year of education increases expected non-Social Security retirement income more than the previous year."
Wow, right?! Makes sense though, higher earnings means you can save more money, which in turn means a happier more carefree retirement!
6. Your Life Satisfaction Goes up!
When you add up all the benefits of living life with a degree, it's clear that putting in the time, effort, and money now can reap rewards for many, many years to come. Can you see it now? Your family's better standard of living, a happier retirement, landing that job, and having stellar application materials or witnessing your children receive their degree? Wow, there are so many ways that your life changes after you earn your degree. What better reasons do you need to Finish?