That would depend on personal career goals, but in general the higher the education, the higher the salary, and the better the career options and security. According to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median annual income for employees with a high school diploma was only $27,915; for a bachelor’s degree $51,206. Individuals with only a high school diploma were twice as likely to be unemployed as those holding bachelor’s degrees. Those without a high school diploma averaged a yearly income of just $18,734.
Individuals who earn a master’s or doctoral degree received an annual average of $74,602 or more. Over a lifetime, the gap in earning potential between the high school graduate and those holding a bachelor’s degree or higher exceeds $1 million, according to the College Board.
Statistics project that 75 percent of future positions are expected to require at least some type of certification or licensure, and professions that require a bachelor’s degree are projected to grow nearly twice as fast as the national average, making a college degree a good investment. Many adults find they need a college degree to enter their career of choice or for increased earning potential or advancement. Others are in career transition or find themselves back in the workforce because of divorce or economic conditions. With advancing technology and changing economic and employment conditions, many adults are experiencing an increasing demand to develop or update their knowledge and skills.