When it comes to higher education, there have been a lot of discussions recently about whether it is worth it, or whether the decision to attend a university is simply based on the culture of our society? Does it get you ahead or is it just a placebo effect? Here are five ways that getting a higher education can benefit you.

Career Skills

While this may at first seem obvious, many young people don’t realize how integral a good education is for today’s job market. While in college, not only do you go to class to learn what is needed for your chosen career path, you also have the opportunity to take classes that expand your career skills or help you to better navigate the professional world. Students have access to counselors who are there specifically to help them succeed. Plus there are a variety of classes offered, from learning how to manage your finances to learning how to network. While you can gain these skills through experience, isn’t it much better to be taught than to learn as you make mistakes?

More Opportunities

Any amount of higher education will open more doors for you than for those with none. For example, even a job posting that in the past did not ask for a college degree now lists that as one of the requirements. And of those jobs that do not require higher education, preference is often given to the candidates that hold degrees over those that do not. Various studies indicate that over half of all jobs in any field will require a degree of some kind in the coming years.

Not only that, but once you find a job, your education continues to work for you by setting you apart from your fellow employees. For instance, someone with an MBA is more likely to get promoted to a management position than someone with a bachelor’s degree or someone with no higher education, when all other things are equal.

Better Earnings

A higher education degree of some kind can practically guarantee increased earning potential. On average, high school grads earn around $30,000 annually. Research shows that as you start college, get a bachelor’s degree, or get a master’s degree, your earning potential goes up with each step. This is based on the jobs that are available, but also the positions within a company. The more education you have, the more your employer may depend on you.

Personal Development

Your education can be put to good use honing a variety of useful skills both in the job market and in your personal life. Most fields of higher education will involve various degrees of writing, speaking, socializing, listening, and analytical thinking. You’ll use and train all of these aspects of yourself consistently as you pursue your degree, and the result will be a highly capable and well-rounded person.

Pursuing Your True Passion

Many people don’t give enough credit to the benefits of following their interests, and an education can help with that. Not knowing what truly sparks our interests can lead to a career path that may have defined goals but leave us feeling empty and disconnected. These feelings can lead to a greater amount of stress in an already high-stress environment, which in turn can lead to a myriad of health problems. Using your education to find what you love is a great way to maintain mental and physical health.

No matter how far you decide to go with your education, continuing after high school is always a good idea. Even an associate’s degree can open doors that may have otherwise been closed to you.