According to Panos Mourdoukoutas, a Forbes contributor and Professor of Economics, a college degree has a double value: an intrinsic and market value. This means that on the one hand, it enhances graduate’s personality and on the other hand it increases the student’s chances of getting a ‘rewarding’ job.
The extent to which a degree is rewarding depends on three factors. First comes academic performance which can be measured by transcripts and records, which in turn provide perspective employers with a snapshot picture of candidate’s commitment to coursework as well as intelligence.
Besides this, the type of major determines the value of a degree, as demand and supply conditions vary across majors. In the US for example, the average earnings can differ from $29,000 for psychology majors – as supply outstrips demand – to $120,000 for petroleum engineers where demand surpasses supply.
The reputation of the institution attended also plays a role. Students in top ranked colleges can earn, in some cases, 20% more than students who attend lower ranking schools according to a study cited in an Education Sector’s report. The Office for National Statistics in the UK, found that graduates from a Russell Group university enjoyed better job prospects compared to students who graduated from lower ranking universities. On average these graduates received £18.60 per hour gross pay, compared to the £14.97 a non-Russell Group graduate would earn.
This infographic by Careerglider indicates that having a degree is a strong ‘weapon’ for graduates in an increasingly competitive job market, as the number of degree holders increases. Also, people with any degree enjoy the flexibility of working in another field. According to the infographic, some of the fastest growing industries in the US are technology, engineering, education and criminal justice.
So, tell us about your degree and how rewarding or useful did it prove when struggling to find a gig in the job market?