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There are several benefits to furthering your education.

Whether you are a junior in high school struggling with the decision of what to do with your life or a middle-aged worker trying to improve finances, education is incredibly important.

With a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you will earn more money, enjoy more stability and even greater self-confidence.

When you are ready to improve your life, here are the benefits to starting by improving your education.

Less Concern About Unemployment

In this troubled financial times, most people are concerned on some level about unemployment. However, the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rates among educated people is significantly lower than it is among those with a high school diploma. Recent studies have shown that one in seven people with a new bachelor’s degree is underemployed. While those numbers may seem depressing, they should be compared to the statistics showing that roughly half of all new high school graduates is completely unemployed.

Enjoy Higher Earnings Throughout Life

The United States Department of Labor reports that jobs requiring a higher level of education and skills pay more attractive wages. When jobs require a certain level of skill and expertise, employers will pay handsomely to make sure they attract people who can do the job. A high school dropout can expect to earn only $18,870 a year, but someone with a diploma can look forward to earning more than $27,000. However, a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree will earn twice that amount with median earnings of $46,400, and the earnings levels only go up from there. In addition to paying higher wages, these positions often feature better benefits packages with attractive vacation policies, 401k programs and other perks.

Boost Earnings Further with a Master’s Degree

Alan B. Krueger is a highly respected economics professor at Princeton. He presents evidence showing that additional education will raise individual earnings by ten percent. This expert opinion is verified by the United States Census data showing that people with master’s degrees earn 15 percent more than their peers. Modern employers are looking at skills and education level, and they are willing to pay more to have those skills at their disposal.

Self-Confidence that Carries you Through Life

An education is intangible and invaluable. Even if you lose your house, your car and other material objects, no one can take the education away from you. You will still have your skills, and those skills can carry you through life. A college degree gives you confidence. That simple piece of paper is more than a decoration for the wall of your professional office. It’s your personal confirmation that you are smart, capable and worthy.

A Well-Rounded Person

A college degree produces citizens who are intelligent, well spoken and well rounded. Studies show that college graduates are more likely to see the big picture, so they are more inclined to save money and invest in their future. They enjoy more hobbies and are perceptive consumers who make more educated decisions. College prepares people for life as they learn how to juggle schedules, manage their money and interact with people with whom they may not always agree. The experience helps students learn how to strive for more, reach for more and accomplish amazing things.

Most people don’t necessarily look forward to going through a few more years of school, but the benefits of higher education will carry you through the rest of your life. Even if you are an older adult, going back for a bachelor’s or master’s degree can boost your earnings and make you more employable. When you are ready to improve your life and take steps towards developing a brighter future, you should consider starting by advancing your education.

Michelle Poland is a full-time writer for higher ed blogs. Several schools offer MBA degrees, including and

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