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Here's More Proof That a College Degree Pays Off

Apr 29, 2016

As the grueling ritual known as finals week approaches, many college students may be wondering whether toughing it out for four or more years and getting a degree is actually worth all the effort.

A new survey conducted by the National Association of College Stores on behalf of MONEY indicates pretty clearly that it is.

In March, we surveyed close to 4,000 college students on a range of questions related to the cost and value of their education. For the subset of students who were on track to graduate this year and had already lined up a job, we asked whether having a degree made any difference in getting hired. More than three-quarters said it did.

The results:

72% said a college degree was required for their new job and that the position was related to their field of study.

5% said a degree was required for their new job but that the position wasn’t related to their field of study.

12% said a degree wasn’t required but that having one helped them get the job.

And only 11% said a degree made no difference.

These findings are in line with other recent studies showing that a bachelor’s degree is increasingly becoming an essential in many industries, even for jobs that previously didn’t require one—a trend some are calling “upcredentialing.”

So hang in there, future grads! Someday soon it should be worth it.

We’ll have more results from this survey in an upcoming report.

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