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15 Reasons Why People Get a College Degree

Updated on September 9, 2013
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.

College Graduation Day
College Graduation Day | Source

A college degree can be elusive for some, but for those who grab one by the tail and hold on tight they’ll enjoy the ride for a very long time. A college degree opens many doors and says a lot about you. A college degree says you were disciplined enough, for at least 4 years, to add more earning power to your life, and to expand your knowledge base. Generally, college graduates make more money in their lifetime than those who do not have a college degree.

Here are the statistics:

  • A high school graduate makes approximately $1.2 million dollars in their lifetime.
  • A graduate with an Associates degree makes approximately $1.6 million dollars in their lifetime.
  • A graduate with a Bachelors degree makes approximately $2.1 million dollars in their lifetime.

College Grad vs. Non-College Grad - There is a Salary Gap!


Why College?

There are various reasons why people pursue a college degree. Some reasons are valid, but others are a bit wacky or quite out of the norm. Let’s take a look at good reasons and not so good reasons for getting a college degree.

  1. Family Expectations – So often some of us go to college because it’s expected by our family. Not only that, some families even expect a certain college to be attended, so a choice of college is not an option for some. People are pushed to continue the long line of family college grads, and breaking that expectation would be unheard of.
  2. College is a requirement for certain occupations. You can’t become a doctor without college and other training, even though some do try to practice healthcare without a college degree.
  3. Some people get a college degree to piss other people off. That’s right! Some peoples’ best revenge for those nay Sayers is to succeed by getting a college degree.
  4. People get a college degree when others have told them that they would not amount to anything. For that, you should say, “I’ll show you,” and amount to everything you can.
  5. A college degree is gotten for one’s own satisfaction. Some people feel incomplete without a college degree and very dissatisfied with their lives without one.
  6. A college degree for some makes a statement. Some might say, “Yeah! Yeah! I’m educated – what about it?” A college degree should not give one a big head.
  7. Some get a college degree because they have nothing else to do – I wish!
  8. A college degree is expected in ones culture. Different cultures hold individuals in high esteem because of a college degree, and even expect some individuals obtain more than a 4 year degree.
  9. A college degree, for some, earns them respect, and a certain position in a family. Some in a family that have the highest level of education earn the right to “head” the family.
  10. People get a college degree in order to get a promotion and a raise. This is a real good reason to pursue a college degree. Some companies are looking for a more educated workforce that will suite their growth and development needs.
  11. People get a college degree to follow in the footsteps of someone they admire and respect. There’s nothing wrong with being someone’s hero if it causes them to do something good whether it be for themselves or for someone else.
  12. People get a college degree to encourage others. Parents, in particular, who go back to school, show their children that one is never too old to go to college, and to encourage them to do the same so they’ll be able to be self-sufficient and go further in life.
  13. Some people pursue a college degree to network. You can make some great connections in college from jobs, to travel opportunities, to joining great organizations.
  14. Some people pursue a college degree so they can marry in a certain circle or a certain type of person. That’s right – you can leave college with a degree and a spouse. That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.
  15. Some people get a college degree to fulfill a bucket list, or to complete what they had started now having the time and resources to do so.

Why Bethany decided to go to college.

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Student thinking about college | Source

What's Your Reason for Wanting a College Degree?

A college degree is a valuable asset that can’t be taken away – some may not agree, but nevertheless, the numbers or statistics don’t lie about what a college degree can do for a person. College may not be for everyone, and if not, then one must map out and outline what skills, abilities, gifts, and talents will help provide viable ways to be self-sufficient. You must ask yourself the question – “Is a college degree for me, and what is my reason for getting a college degree?”


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    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi sweetie1, you make a great point when talking about arranged marriages.

    • sweetie1 profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Hi kristine,

      I fully agree with you and point no 14 is 100% true especially in countries where arranged marriages are common. Girls with out do not get good husbands who are not MA or equivalent. In arranged marriages families not only see back grounds but also if they have good degrees too. So very common for doctors marrying a doctor and so on. First thing people usually ask how much is your fiancee is educated.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I went to college to improve my financial future, and it has paid off. Thanks for reading.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      Your list covers the reasons why people attend college very well. I went to improve my financial future, because I knew it would improve my marketability and also just to learn. Enjoyed the read.


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