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Is College Right for Me? 3 Great Reasons to Go to College

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“Is college right for me?”

It’s a question that anyone who's ever attended college has had to ask—and answer.

Whether you’re a recent high school graduate or you’re 35 years old and looking for ways to elevate your career to the next level, it’s a life-changing decision—and a big commitment. For many would-be students, the thought of the time, money and energy required to earn a college degree can be overwhelming—and sometimes even hard to justify.

So is that degree really worth all that’s required to earn it? Here are three factors that suggest the answer is “yes”:

1: You’ll earn more money over the course of your career.

The income gap between high school and college graduates has widened. A 2014 report published by the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco shows that a college graduate can expect to earn $830,000 more over the course of his or her career than someone earning a high school diploma. The report concludes: “Although there are stories of people who skipped college and achieved financial success, for most Americans the path to higher future earnings involves a four-year degree. We show that the value of a college degree remains high, and that the average college graduate can recover the cost of attending in less than 20 years.”

2: Research shows that there are many benefits of college reaped beyond financial success.

According to It’s Not Just the Money: The Benefits of College Education to Individuals and Society , authored by Philip Trostel, a professor at The University of Maine School of Economics, Americans with a bachelor’s degree enjoy numerous benefits and advantages in comparison to high school graduates who have never attended college, including:

  • Life expectancy (at age 25) is seven years longer for those having at least some college.
  • Their likelihood of having health insurance through employment is 47 percent higher.
  • Their probability of being married is 21 percent higher—and their probability of being divorced or separated is 61 percent lower.
  • Their incidence of poverty is 3.5 times lower.
  • Their probability of being in prison or jail is 4.9 times lower.

Trostel’s paper, published by the Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all, also notes that the likelihood of college graduates reporting their health to be very good or excellent is 44 percent greater.

3: Having a college degree can help to make it easier to land a good job—even when that position doesn’t necessarily require a degree.

As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, “College Degree Preferred” increasingly means “College Degree Required”. Many college graduates are applying for—and getting—jobs that don’t require a degree. An employer who receives dozens of applications is likely to create unofficial, unspoken filters before sifting through applications. If 50 applicants have college degrees and 50 others don’t, which stack do you think is going to be reviewed more seriously?

Many schools, including Argosy University, offer online programs or blended programs in which students take some classes on campus and others online. If you’ve thought through the reasons to attend college and decide it’s time to begin, be sure to connect quickly with a student advisor at the school you choose. He or she can guide you through the enrollment process, provide valuable advice, and help you stack the odds of success in your favor.


Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: Argosy University, 601 South Lewis Street, Orange, CA 92868 © 2017 Argosy University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@argosy.edu.
See auprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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Tap the Hidden Job Market

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The process of finding employment has quietly undergone an evolution. More and more job seekers are discovering that many positions do not post to the public. In fact, the online career guidance resource Quintessential Careers reports that only 15 to 20 percent of available jobs post to newspapers, online job boards, or employment agencies.

“Not advertised?” ask many exasperated, out-of-work job candidates who regularly scour newspapers and websites in the hopes of finding a job. If this traditional search yields just a fraction of available employment opportunities, where are the bulk of open positions hiding? Welcome to the new hidden job market.

The hidden job market is real and, according to LinkedIn, reportedly more effective than the old conventional way. “At least half of all new hires find employment through networking,” says Jason Rinsky, National Director of Career Services at the Brown Mackie College system of schools. Yes, good old-fashioned word-of-mouth can help you find the back door to employment options.

Why is the hidden job market so huge?
“Recruiters want to minimize the amount they spend on advertising,” says Dr. Cynthia Scarlett, Chair of the Graduate Business and Organizational Leadership programs at Argosy University, Denver. “If they can get a recommendation, it puts them one step ahead in the vetting process.” Hiring managers, too, seem more likely to hire a person who has been recommended by a co-worker or trusted associate. A 2012 New York Federal Reserve Bank study bears this out, citing that referred candidates were twice as likely to land interviews compared to those who were not referred, and 40 percent more likely to be hired.

“Hiring managers will often consider people inside the company for a new position, or people they know. Often, the next step is to seek recommendations from trusted sources. A referred candidate saves time over total stranger,” continues Dr. Scarlett. “Networking is a vital step when looking for a job.”

Reinvigorate your networking efforts
Networking is not a new idea. It is simply building relationships with people. Attending networking events may seem daunting to some; however, Rinsky points out, “Each experience tends to increase confidence in the participant.” A little preparation goes a long way toward building a professional network. Dr. Scarlett advises everyone to practice the elevator pitch, and think about ways to open conversations. “Brainstorm questions about what to ask those in your industry. And, of course, have your resume prepared and ready to go,” she says.

Manage your networking expectations
Few people are likely to attend a single networking event and come away with a job. “Don’t go to a big professional meeting and hand out hundreds of business cards. Try to come away from each event with two relevant contacts,” says Scarlett. ”Focus on quality, not quantity. This won’t get you a job next week, but it will provide a manageable way to follow up with your new contacts.”

Follow up with new contacts
Remember, this is your job search, your professional life. Take the initiative to follow up with new contacts to support your connection. “You could ask if they are interested in an email from you about the topic you’ve been discussing,” Dr. Scarlett says, “or suggest that you meet for coffee and continue the conversation next week.” One step at a time, you are building a relationship.

Network by keyboard with purpose
Many people are tapping LinkedIn, the popular business social network, to connect with professional groups and find work. “This is a tool that should be used in a professional way, says Rinsky. “It is not a facebook equivalent; however it is a smart way to connect with people in your industry.”

Don’t overlook serendipity
You never know when the person next to you at the grocery store, or sitting behind you in a restaurant, is a hiring manager with a position to fill. ‘Networking can happen anyplace, in a bank or at volunteer events,” Dr. Scarlett says. “It does happen that way; every now and again, someone lands a job by way of a chance encounter.” It pays to be prepared in how you might present yourself, and the questions you might ask of people you meet in your everyday life.

Networking is the key to the hidden job market. “When you’re looking for a job, one person has only so much capacity, says Rinsky. “With each person who helps, you’ve got multiple eyes and ears working on your behalf. The more people involved, the greater your chances will be to find that dream job.”

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Avoid Job Application Mistakes

You're completely excited to begin applying for jobs in your chosen career field. You just know that you’re the right person for the job, and surely anyone who receives your job application will know this too, right?

Wrong. Unless you’re close friends with the hiring manager, you need to do what you can to ensure that your application enables you to put your best foot forward. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of four job application blunders to avoid:

  • Having an Unprofessional Email Address – Your name is Lawrence, but your friends have always called you “Smilin’ Larry,” prompting you, years ago, to adopt the email address smilinlarry@your-domain-here.com. Before you send in your job application with this email address attached, stop and think for a moment. Would it be considered professional? If you didn’t know the person attached to the email address, would you take them seriously? The answer to both questions should be a resounding “no.” So what should you do instead? Generally, it’s best for your email address to only include your first and last name before the @ sign, and a number or two if needed, so smilinlarry@your-domain-here.com becomes lawrencejohnson@your-domain-here.com.
  • Ignoring Typos and Spelling Mistakes - In order to avoid sending in a job application with these errors, proofread it carefully. On top of that, you might also find it helpful to have a friend or two give it a read as well. As they say, two pairs of eyes are better than one!
  • Stuffing Your Application With Buzz Words – If you want your job application to stand out, it’s helpful to include as many action words as possible, but it’s best to avoid common application buzz words that everyone and your brother is probably also using. These are generally meaningless words and phrases like “team player,” “proven track record,” and “results-oriented.” When in doubt, show, don’t tell.
  • Submitting an Incomplete Application – Before submitting your application, make sure that you’ve followed the potential employer’s directions carefully. No matter how much care you’ve put into presenting yourself well, it will all fall flat if you fail to provide the complete package of information requested.
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