If you do not have a college degree or you are thinking of getting one then you might be wondering what a college degree proves.
This post will show you a number of things that a college degree shows and some things that you might want to consider.
So, what does a college degree prove? College degrees require four years of consistent effort this shows that a graduate has discipline, is reliable and will stick with challenging tasks. It also shows that a graduate is teachable, has knowledge of a particular field and that they have some critical thinking skills.
There are actually a number of things that a college degree can prove but there are some things that can have an impact on what the degree does prove.
One thing that a college degree can show is that a person is disciplined.
College degrees take four years of consistent effort to complete. A high percentage of people that enroll in college never finish their college degree. According to NCES, the six-year graduation rate in 2016 was 60%. This means that a degree can signal to employers that a candidate will be less likely to bounce after a few months.
This can help employers be comfortable that they will be able to get a good investment in taking the time to train you to work well as a part of their company.
It also signals to employers that a candidate will be reliable. This is because you need to show up consistently in order to get a degree. If a candidate was able to consistently show up to class then it is likely that they will consistently show up to work as well.
Critical thinking skills
Another thing that a college degree can show is that a person has some critical thinking abilities.
To get a college degree it will be necessary to distill large amounts of information to make sense of it and to be able to explain it. Companies want to be able to employ people that they can leave alone and expect to figure out issues by themselves. This is something that a college degree can be a signal of.
Knowledge of a particular field
In order to obtain a college degree, it will be necessary for you to have a good understanding of your major.
In many jobs, it is necessary to have a lot of knowledge of that particular field in order to do the job. By employing someone with a degree in that particular field it will help businesses save money since they won’t have to put a lot of resources into training new employees.
An example of this would be in engineering where it would be very difficult to get a job in engineering without a degree in engineering. This is because it is important to have a good understanding of some quite complex topics in order to be an effective engineer.
You are teachable
In order to get a college degree, it is necessary for you to be able to listen to and follow instructions and to be able to accept the knowledge of your teachers.
Businesses also want to be able to employ people that are willing to listen to instructions and to be able to take criticisms on board and this is something that college degrees can be a signal of.
Getting a college degree can be difficult at times. As you progress through your classes the difficulty will likely increase. Also, there will be many times when you have multiple, challenging, exams coming up that you have to put considerable time into preparing for.
Being able to keep going when things start to become challenging or stressful is something that businesses also want to see. There will be times when business deadlines are coming up and they will need their employees to be able to cope with the higher pressure in those time periods.
Consider the field that you want to enter
The importance of a college degree will depend largely on the field that you want to enter.
In some fields, it will be necessary for you to have a college degree since it makes use of a lot of knowledge that gets taught in college. For example, engineers need to know a lot of mathematical and engineering based concepts in order to work in the field which is why engineers usually need a degree.
Whereas, in some fields, a college degree is less necessary. For example, software companies are increasingly accepting applicants that do not have a college degree if they are able to show competence in the field in other ways.
Consider the major
Another thing to consider is the major. Some majors are more challenging than other majors and from an employers perspective, some majors are worth more than others depending on the field.
STEM majors are popular among employers because they are challenging degrees and they tend to be highly applicable in a business setting. Those that deal with a lot of data are especially popular at the moment.
Consider the school
Another thing to consider is the school. Colleges with a lower acceptance rate tend to be more challenging. This is because the students will be stronger academically and the professors will tend to be experts in their field so they can get through the material quickly.
Another reason that employers tend to favor more selective schools is that the students tend to stick with it for longer. According to NCES, the graduation rate at colleges with open admissions policies only had a 6-year graduation rate of 32%. Whereas, colleges that admitted less than 25% of applicants had an acceptance rate of 88%.
The GPA is also a factor
How much a college degree proves will also be slightly impacted by the GPA that a student gets.
If a student finishes college with a low GPA then it will not be as impressive to employers since it will suggest to them that the student was only just able to get by in college. Whereas, if a student has a higher GPA it will signal to them that the student is more likely to go above and beyond when working for them.