Slogging your way through your schoolwork is not always fun, and if you're racking up mountains of student debt, you might find yourself wondering whether the work is worth it. But education plays a key role in both finding and keeping a job and can open doors to higher-paying, more stimulating and rewarding careers.
There is a direct correlation between the level of education you achieve and your likelihood of finding a job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2013 that, at each higher level of education, the unemployment level drops. For example, people whose highest level of education was graduating high school had an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, while the unemployment rate of college graduates was 4.5 percent.
Many jobs have minimum educational requirements, and without meeting these requirements, you won't get an interview. The Georgetown Public Policy Institute emphasizes that employers are increasingly requiring a college degree and estimates that by 2018, 60 percent of jobs will require a bachelor's degree. Even if you already meet the minimum educational requirements for a job you want, exceeding requirements -- particularly with advanced studies in a subject area related to your field -- can make you a more attractive job candidate, increasing your likelihood of finding a job.
Education isn't just a piece of paper. Time spent in high school, college or graduate school helps you master both basic and advanced skills. The longer you spend in academia, the better your writing, reading, comprehension and communication skills will become. Writing, research and classes can also improve your computer skills, which are key in a competitive job market. You'll also become accustomed to interacting with a wide variety of people. These social skills can serve you well in the job search even if the job you want doesn't require a specific degree.
After you've found a job, the benefits of education continue. Higher education may be a requirement for promotions or for managerial positions, and if you continue your education, you'll be eligible for these higher-paying, more prestigious jobs. If a job in your company opens up that's specific to your college major, you'll probably be the most competitive candidate even if your previous job had little to do with your major.