Has a Bachelor’s Degree Become the New High School Diploma?

Has a Bachelor’s Degree Become the New High School Diploma?

A high school diploma, or a GED (General Education Development) used to go a long way with employers. It was a lot more common for people to enter into the workforce post-high school than it is now. In fact, around one hundred years ago, it was typical to not finish high school at all, which is clearly not the case anymore. Fewer than 10% of students graduated high school in the early 1900’s versus today’s rate which is around 85-90%. According to data recorded in late 2019, the enrollment rate for College or bachelor’s degree today is about 65%.

What does this mean?

Those were a lot of numbers, but to simplify it – it is more common to attend college after high school in today’s day and age. Does this mean that a bachelor’s degree has become the new high school diploma? Yes and no. The professional job market almost definitely requires a degree now. The jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s are the least desirable – like a community health care worker, mail carrier, a power plant operator, etc. These jobs typically make around $15/hour, which can prove very difficult to live on (especially if you are supporting a family).

With all of that being said, college is no easy feat. It is now harder than ever to get into a four-year university right after high school, unless you were an above average student during those four years. It is also ideal for the student to have an idea of what they want to study before they enter the long process of earning that bachelor’s degree. For example, if you are not passionate about a particular subject and you decide to explore your options in college, the return on investment might not be so great for you. On the same note, though, most professional level jobs do require you to have some kind of degree. Meaning, if you study one subject in college, that doesn’t mean you will do it forever – you might actually do something completely different. But, all your employer will likely care about is that you have a degree and the experience you have earned since.

Why are they comparable?

A lot of people today say that a high school diploma is equivalent to that of a four-year college degree. Why do they think this? There is pretty much a nationwide groupthink mentality that you have to go to college to get a job, or that every high school graduate should go to college. Obviously they have good reason to think this, as mentioned above. But, that doesn’t mean that college is for everyone.
A lot of people go to college as part of their journey to “find themselves”. Maybe your university is the place where you can do that, or maybe you will spend $100,000 or more, and realize you still feel the same. Companies took advantage of this nationwide mindset that everyone must go to college, because now they can be more selective with their hires. They are able to pay graduates with bachelor’s degrees an hourly wage if they are lacking in experience. These companies would rather hire someone who has been working and can communicate properly rather than someone who got straight A’s.
In summary, it really doesn’t matter if you decide to go to college or forego it, as long as you have a plan. Working your way to where you want to be is possible whether you have a degree or not.

If you do make the choice to go to college and you feel you need a little extra help in your studies, give Miles Smart Tutoring a call (813) 238-3036. We offer nationwide online and in-person one-on-one tutoring services in all subjects. If you’re interested in hearing more or would like to set up a free tutoring consultation, you can visit www.milessmarttutoring.com.