Advanced Education Pays Off

There is no better reward than the payback you receive due to pursuing education.  Jobs, money and respect are all obtainable with advanced degrees and it is imperative that citizens and universities realize this direct correlation.

A state’s education level directly correlates to its economy at large. Highly educated people have more of a chance to land a job and can therefore enjoy financial security and even enhance their quality of life. It has been found that those with higher per capita income have higher voter turnout rates, higher blood donation rates and a more active participation in philanthropy. A higher income also allows an individual to assist in economic progress. The individual with more disposable income can contribute to local businesses by investing in more goods and services.

Despite the countless ways that advanced education can benefit an individual, there is one major drawback to pursuing advanced degrees—the cost. The rising cost of education or unavoidable student loans might deter some students from investing in higher education. If this isn’t already a huge problem, many students often have to pay twice for the same general requirement classes. This is the case for many students who take a variety of courses at a community college with hopes to explore career options and receive general requirements. When these students transfer, they find out that some of their credits do not have comparable courses at the university. They therefore have to take those general requirements again, in a different form, and pay for them all over again. As outlandish as this is, students are still forging their way through college with empty wallets so that they obtain their degree and improve their quality of life. That’s dedication.

For those students overwhelmed by student loan debt, know this: The earnings as a result of higher education strongly outweigh the price of education. According to the U.S. Census Bureau of 2009, The College Board has reported that, “compared to a high school graduate, the typical four-year college graduate…has earned enough by age 33 to compensate for being out of the labor force for four years, and for borrowing the full amount required to pay tuition and fees without any grant assistance.” Even further, “total earnings net of loan repayment exceed the total earnings of high school graduates by age 33, after 13 years of work.” The bottom line is that education pays off, literally and figuratively.

So what is your role in education advancement?

While students can do their part by furthering their education, local businesses can assist in the process of education advancement by taking the pledge for Keep Learning. Keep Learning is a coalition of education, business, government and media partners committed to doubling the number of college graduates in mid-Michigan. The organization helps community members and individuals further their education through multiple platforms. Whether it’s tuition reimbursement, or simply promoting the importance of education, there are plenty of ways that businesses can contribute to a more educated and thriving workforce. You can also support your employees in their decisions to take classes, seminars or workshops in their areas of expertise or interest.

Get involved today because it is undeniably going to affect you. Generating a higher knowledge-based economy will in turn provide you with the best and brightest, the go-getters and the young professionals that will advance your own business and communities of Greater Lansing.

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