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3 Reasons to Get Your Degree in 2021

Rachael Warren

A College Degree is the Best Worker Insurance

If there’s one lesson Americans can collectively take away from 2020, it’s that having a college education is more valuable than ever before. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, an estimated 20 million Americans lost their jobs in 2020 - and of those, individuals with less than a college degree were most susceptible to unemployment*.

While the social and economic hardships brought on this year did spike unemployment rates across all education levels, research conducted by various institutions (including the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and PEW Research Center) overwhelmingly demonstrates higher levels of education act as insurance against job loss. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics reported that during peak unemployment in April 2020, roughly 8% of unemployed individuals had a four-year degree, compared to 15% of people unemployed who had some college experience but no degree, and 17% of unemployed individuals with only a high school diploma**. Moreover, not only did degree-holders have the lowest unemployment rates; they also rebounded fastest during the recession.

One of the main reasons degree-holders experienced low unemployment rates and were reemployed faster than individuals without degrees is because of their greater opportunity to telework. According to the Pew Research Center, 65% of workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher were able to work from home in 2020, compared to roughly 22% of those without a college education***. In these changing times where remote learning and teleworking has become the new norm, even if only temporarily, degree-holders have a sturdier career outlook.

What do these findings mean for individuals without a college education? To put it plainly, a college degree is the best worker insurance. As these studies demonstrate, higher education is your ticket to staying resilient in today’s ever-changing workforce.



3 Reasons to Get Your Degree

Becoming a degree-holder is your key to greater job security, marketable in-demand skills, and a higher salary. Here are three reasons why you should get your degree in 2021:

A Degree Gives You Greater Job Security

When businesses and schools shifted to remote working and learning environments earlier this year, the majority of degree-holders were able to maintain their positions by switching to teleworking. As aforementioned, 65% of workers with a bachelor’s degree had jobs that enabled them to work from home. This is because an overwhelming majority of their work can be conducted via email, by telephone, or via teleconferencing. Unlike degree-holders, individuals without college degrees tend to work in contact-heavy, face-to-face environments where a remote setting isn’t a compatible environment.

Putting the unique telework challenges of 2020 aside for a moment, it’s worth noting that in any economic recession, college graduates are less likely to experience layoffs****. When a company needs to scale back and reduce their team for financial reasons, employees with only high school diplomas are among the first to go. While the state of the economy cannot guarantee anything, generally speaking degree-holders are less likely to suffer long-term unemployment.

A Degree Makes You a More Marketable Candidate

Statistically speaking, degree-holders rebound faster during economic fluctuations. In 2020 alone, the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics reported that individuals with a four-year degree had an unemployment rate of 8% in April 2020, but that rate dropped to 4% by September 2020, cutting unemployment in the degree-holder subgroup in half**.

Why? Simply put, having a degree makes you a more marketable candidate. When some degree-holders were laid off earlier this year, they became the most qualified candidates for companies expanding their teams during the recession. College graduates have a broad range of skills, making them desirable hires. Having a degree typically means you’re able to think critically, understand complex subjects, communicate effectively, and demonstrates you have self-discipline - all critical skills companies are on the hunt for in their next hire.

A Degree will Get You a Higher Salary

In today’s economy, jobs for individuals with only a high school diploma are shrinking, and they’re typically limited to low-paying roles in the service industry****. Getting your degree will open up opportunities for you that you may never have been considered for otherwise - including the opportunity to advance your career and salary.

The return on investment in a college education cannot be overstated. Studies show that depending on the industry and career, degree-holders earn significantly more money throughout their lifetime than individuals with only a high school diploma****. Moreover, your salary will typically increase with additional education. For example, if you hold a baccalaureate but need a master’s degree to advance your career, going back to school as an adult learner will help you upskill to earn that promotion and subsequent raise.



Champlain College Online Degree Options

Times of economic and social change present the ideal time to upskill. Why? Because as businesses have had to grow and modify their efforts to continue their work, so too have individuals as a means to staying resilient in the workforce. If you want to achieve greater job security, become a more marketable candidate to a hiring manager, and ultimately earn a high salary, heading back to school will help you grow and modify your resume and set you up for long-term success.

Champlain College Online (CCO) can help you do just that. Our career-focused academics have your end goal of upskilling in mind. Our classes are delivered at an accelerated pace, typically between seven and eight weeks, and are designed to build upon what you already know. Even better? All CCO degrees are offered 100% online, so you can progress through the courses on your schedule. Whether you’re underemployed and looking to level up for a promotion, or you’re aiming to change careers entirely and need a new degree to do so, CCO has a program that’s right for you.

Choose from our various degree offerings, including:

Associate Degrees

In a rush to advance your high school diploma? Consider starting off with an associate degree to develop foundational post-secondary study skills. An associate degree is a great jumping off point to get your feet wet in higher education. You can always upskill again later. CCO offers four different tracks for associate level degrees, spanning from accounting, to business management, to software development, to web design & development.

Explore CCO Associate Degrees >

Bachelor’s Degrees

Whether you started college and never finished or are new to undergraduate education altogether, a baccalaureate is a rewarding investment. Adult learners looking to earn their bachelor’s degree will find a whole suite of options at CCO, 12 to be exact, ranging from healthcare administration to cybersecurity, and so much more in between.

Explore CCO Bachelor’s Degrees >

Master’s Degrees

If your baccalaureate just isn’t cutting it and you’re looking to level up for a well-deserved promotion, a CCO graduate degree can help you get there. Do you want to earn your MBA? Become an expert in the study of human relations? Advance your skills in digital forensic science? We offer six different master’s programs to upskill your baccalaureate to a graduate degree in your field of interest.

Explore CCO Masters’ Degrees >

Undergraduate and Graduate Certificates

If a certificate program is more your speed, CCO offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate certificates. Topics cover a whole suite of fields including marketing, cybersecurity, and information technology, just to name a few. <H2> Get Your Degree with CCO Ready to advance your degree and outfit yourself with today’s most in-demand skills? Our team is on standby, ready to answer your questions, walk you through the application process, and help you succeed. Get started!

Contact the CCO Team >






About the Author

Rachael Warren

Senior Content Marketing Specialist

Rachael Warren is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Champlain College Online, where she is the voice behind the CCO blog and helps tell the college's story across multiple digital platforms. Rachael has extensive experience in writing, editing, and content marketing for mission-driven businesses and non-profit organizations. She holds a B.A. in Communication and a Minor in Sociology from the University of Southern Maine.

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