graduationIf you’re about to graduate this spring, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to find a job. Obviously, if you had a choice you’d like to graduate with several employment options, but sometimes things don’t work out as planned.

However that’s not to say your college degree was all for naught, or that any college diploma is worthless. Even though getting a degree is expensive in terms of time and money, you still come out ahead in the long run. Just today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the employment numbers for March, and things are looking up, especially for college graduates. The U.S. added 216,000 jobs to the economy beating out Wall Street predictions. This is the second month of continued job growth, with unemployment dropping down from 8.9% in February to 8.8% in March. Professional and business related jobs led the way with over 78,000, followed by health care jobs with over 37,000. In most cases, these jobs required a college degree.

If this trend continues, there will be more jobs available to June college graduates than there have been in the last three years. And if that’s still not reason enough to believe in your college degree, here are four even better reasons your college diploma was worth getting.

  1. Lower Unemployment
  2. Traditionally, people with college degrees stay employed longer in a bad economy than those without degrees. In fact, in March alone the unemployment rate for people with college degrees was 4.4% compared to 9.5% for people without college degrees. That’s a huge difference! To put it in an even bigger perspective, for those who didn’t graduate from high school the unemployment rate in March was 13.7%. So as you can see, the more education you have the more you’re insulated from unemployment.

  3. Increased Job Opportunities
  4. Open the newspaper (you remember what those are, right?) and look in the Want Ads. Or better yet, check Monster.com. Just about every job that pays enough to live off of requires a college degree. Some employers don’t even care what your degree is in, they just want to see that you have the dedication to get a degree. Those are the types of people employers want to hire. And even if you work in an industry that requires specific knowledge and training your career opportunities for diversity and advancement in that industry are much greater when you have a college degree (as opposed to apprenticing or working your way up without formal schooling).

  5. Higher Earning Potential
  6. According to the 2010 College Board report, in 2008 the median income of all working college graduates was $55,700, which is over $21,000 more than the median income for working people without degrees (the 2009 and 2010 statistics aren’t out yet). Benefits are better, too. In fact, in many cases employees without college degrees aren’t offered salaried jobs that include benefits. And lifetime earnings for college grads work to be about a third more than those without degrees (and twice as much as those who don’t have a high school diploma).

  7. Promotions More Likely
  8. It’s no secret that the employees who get the promotions are typically the ones with more education, which is exactly why people who already have jobs go back to school to get masters and doctorate degrees while still working. Some companies actually pay their employees to go back to school (in terms of covering their tuition) and then automatically give them raises and/or promotions upon graduation.

So if you’re feeling a little blue because you’re about to graduate in a bad economy, cheer up! It’s not that bad (okay, it’s bad, but it could be worse). Your college degree is your best defense against unemployment. It’s not a guarantee of work, but statistically it helps you find a job and maintain a satisfying career – hopefully for many years to come!

*If you want to earn your college degree, you can view the different online schools here on classesandcareers.com.

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