Do students want a college degree just to make more money?

college student jeans with credit cards

Study revealed that the main reason for studying a career is to improve employability and to make more money.

Having a college degree remains the goal almost all students pursue. Virtually all freshmen believe they will get better job opportunities once they graduate than those who started working after high school. A recent study conducted by Gallup and Strada Education revealed the main reason why students aspire to have a degree. Is it to learn something new? To shape a better world? or is it just to earn more money?

A survey taken by 200,000 adults from more than 3000 post-secondary institutions in the US, revealed that the main reason for studying a career is to have a good job. 58% of students believe they want to improve their employability to make more money. Some of the answers show freshmen think they just can’t find good jobs without a college degree. So yes, it seems it is for the money. 

On the other hand, 23% answered that the main reason they chose a higher level of education was to acquire new knowledge. Some of the answers were: “I wanted to keep my mind going. I wanted to learn more”, “for knowledge and personal growth” and “expand worldview and stop closed-minded bubble I have.”

Pens and money on a college student desk

12% of students answered they had to meet social expectations. Social pressure is portrayed in answers like: “my parents wanted me to,” “everybody else was doing it” and “everyone is supposed to go to college after high school.”

Only 6% of education consumers say they chose to get a college degree based on access; either because they had free time or because they thought it was inexpensive.

When asked what the reasons were to select specific institutions, the results mainly focused on location with 28% of the votes and affordability with 22%. School reputation got 20%, good job or career 19%, learning and knowledge 5% and family or social expectations 4%.

Work outcomes are the main reason most students choose to start a higher education program. Universities must understand the motivations that lead students to choose to obtain a university degree. Universities need to be clear, relevant and connect students with the workforce in an efficient and early manner