Why Pursue Education Beyond High School?

Completing high school is such an exciting milestone.  Students who are reaching this point look forward to the increased independence and freedom reaching adulthood offers.  However, there’s a great deal more responsibility involved as well.  Decisions need to be made, specifically the answer to the ever-daunting question “what do you want to do with your life?” must be answered.

This week we will be discussing the benefits that come from pursuing higher education.  This can come in several forms.  Most commonly when we think of higher education we think of attending a university, but that is not the only option.  Community college is a great place to continue to explore opportunities as well as prepare for other educational experiences.  Training schools and apprenticeships also provide opportunities to improve knowledge and skills in areas you may be interested in.  Whatever you decide, continuing education after high school provides many benefits for those who choose to take advantage of it.

First of all, and most obvious, getting a higher education helps you to gain increased experience in your chosen field.  More and more employers are requiring some sort of degree, and even if they don’t, all employers look for the most qualified candidates for the job.  Those who have a higher education are much more qualified than those without. 

If that’s not enough, studies show that on average those with a degree make much more money than those without.  The higher the education, the more money they tend to make.  Unemployment rates are also much lower for those who get an education beyond high school.

On a more personal level, those who get a higher education tend to make much healthier life choices.  Only approximately 8% of people with a bachelor’s degree smoke, compared to 25% of those with only a high school diploma.  They also tend to eat healthier and exercise more regularly as they gain a better understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Those who continue in education beyond high school also tend to have healthier personal lives.  Continued education gives people an opportunity to improve problem solving skills, gain a sense of competition and accomplishment, improve their self-image, and gain a greater sense of discipline.  This leads to better relationships with others and a stronger feeling of fulfillment.

Finally, pursuing education beyond your high school diploma gives you an opportunity to pursue your passion.  For many people this tends to be a secondary reason for continuing academically because it seems silly to spend so much money simply to pursue a passion, but the benefit should still be considered.  Gaining more experience and knowledge in relation to your passion leads to a sense of achievement and can help you feel more fulfilled.

In the end, pursuing a degree or professional certificate is completely up to you.  However, there are so many positive, life-long benefits that can be had by challenging yourself and reaching for greater knowledge and skills.  For those who are approaching this milestone, or know someone who is, take time to seriously consider these benefits and opportunities.  Education really does make such a huge difference in your quality of life.