How Do I Define the Value of a Bachelor’s Degree?

Many students will be having a complex view about- “the value of a bachelor’s degree”. So here is an article that covers every aspect to define the value of the degree.

Updated by Sreelekha R K on 29th April 2020

A Bachelor's Degree is a four-year undergraduate academic program that usually requires completion of 120 credits and it has become more common over the years. 

It is considered as a base for many job requirements and provides foundational knowledge of various subjects. 

Many students and parents will be having a complex view about- “the value of a bachelor’s degree” but mostly in 2 ways and they are as follows.

  • The cost involved in College Education

  • The benefit of it in the near future

There are many factors correlated with college attendance and the costs charged from students can seem like a difficult task.

In this article, we have covered both related to cost involved, the return on investment, and the benefits of this degree which helps in defining the value of a Bachelor’s Degree.

College Attendance- The Real Numbers

It is important for students and their guardians/parents to be familiar and aware of the cost of attendance. 

  • The cost of attendance will basically include the tuition fee for full-time attendance, room and board charges, per-semester fees, and the cost incurred on notebooks and textbooks (all stationery)  per year. 

  • Retention rate is the percentage of a school's first-time, first-year undergraduate students who continue at that school the next year.

  • High percentages tend to correlate with high quality and value. 

Perks of having a Bachelor’s Degree 

In order to define the value of a bachelor’s degree, it is important to know the perks of getting one. There are many benefits of having a degree that adds value to your resume as well as your degree. It is important for students to build a strong resume, and accordingly increase the value of their degree program, is to get involved in on-campus activities organized by the organization. 

Few important perks of having a bachelor’s degree are discussed below. 

Increased Access to Job Opportunities

  • There is a wide variety of job openings for you if you are a bachelor’s degree holder which is considered to be easiest to attain.

  • It is observed that there are 57 percent more job opportunities for college graduates than non-graduates. 

  • A degree allows you to qualify for these added opportunities and gives you more flexibility in the field where you choose to work.

  • Seeking a university learning will increase your access to opportunities by connecting you to advisors, teachers, and most importantly alumni, and these connections may help you to connect with the industry leaders and share your ideas and start a new innovative venture.

Prepares you for career

Some occupations require a bachelor’s degree for entry-level employment.

Technology, Education, and Healthcare are improving day-by-day and there are many inventions and new products in the world and the market keeps changing. In order to work in this changing world, it is important to have certain knowledge regarding it. Acquiring a bachelor’s degree will help you learn certain specific skills and practices that are required to make a living. 

Although it is not like all degrees offer a straight way to a particular job, there are programs created with a specific career path in mind. For example, few healthcare degrees have specific jobs waiting for you at the end when the course is completed and have a degree certificate. 

According to the American Community Survey (ACS), most of the students are aiming to get a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Science and Medicine, Computers, Social Sciences and law, Business, Liberal arts, Education.

Growth- Both Personal and Career-wise

People do work hard to have not only a growth in career but also in personal life and for better mental stability. 

Along with gaining skills such as interpersonal & communication skills, writing, time-management, and working as a team, there are various chances to improve presentation skills which will ultimately become part of your valuable career network. 

Achieving a degree helps in personal growth but how? Here is your answer- it plants confidence in you and gives a feeling of success. You will be able to feel the spirit and motivation. 

It will assist you to face difficult challenges and to overcome it, which in turn helps you to reduce stress and get a sense of pride.

Earning Potential

It is obvious that when your level of education is higher so will be your salary. On an annual basis, bachelor's degree holders earn about $32,000 more than those whose highest degree is a high school diploma.

Let us now see some statistics which help you understand the earning potential of the degree holders. 

Level of Education

Average Annual Income (Approx Values)

Without a High School Diploma

$27,040

With a High School Diploma

$37,024

Associate Degree Holders

$43,472

Bachelor’s Degree Holders

$60,996

Inference from the table: Bachelor’s Degree Holders earn more than $17,500 when compared to associate degree holders and nearly $25,000 more than high school graduates.

But there are certain factors such as job role, place where you work or the firm or organization for which you work, that may affect your salary.   

Job Satisfaction

  • Job satisfaction is something that motivates you to work in an organization. On that note, research proves that owning a bachelor’s degree will lead to increasing long-term job satisfaction. 

  • Bachelor’s degree holders also enjoy more on-the-job perks that will add as an advantage for career satisfaction. 

  • It is okay to plan for the future, maybe after 40 years when you retire- with a  bachelor’s degree, you will be offered retirement benefits, compared to only 43 percent of individuals without a degree.

Return Of Investment

The return of investment (ROI) that you receive for earning a bachelor’s degree depends on many factors, most importantly on your major and the school you attend.

Are you looking for the maximum return on investment? Then, consider earning your associate’s degree first at a community college and then transferring to a bachelor’s degree course at a public or private four-year college or university.

The College Board estimates that students who attend community college pay very little in tuition and fees after student aid and this option makes this pathway very attractive if you are concerned about college costs.