I love the game: “Would you rather?”

Would you rather only be able to whisper or only be able to shout? (whisper – people would listen intently when I spoke)

Would you rather eat a whole cake or an entire box of ice cream? (ice cream, duh)

Would you rather wear your shoes on the wrong feet or wear your pants backward? (oh…I think backward pants might be more comfortable?)

Would you rather…go to college or go to work?cake_ice_cream

A tough question for many young students who may be considering the pros of a job making money right out of high school versus spending 2 to 4 years earning a degree. Getting a job right out of high school may sound easier, but research has been done to show there are a number of reasons why a college education pays – in more ways than cash.

College Board’s 5 Ways Ed Pays video showcases the results of this research in a quick two-minute video. Here’s the synopsis:

GREATER WEALTH

College grads earn an average of $22,000 more per year. If you start working at age 25, but the time you’re 70, you’ll have earned nearly a million dollars more over your lifetime than someone with only a college degree.

MORE SECURITY

College grads are less than half as unlikely to be unemployed. It’s becoming more difficult to find a good paying job without some type of education. More schooling = more opportunity.

College grads are 1/3 more likely to be covered by an employer’s health insurance. I didn’t understand that until I got a full-time job and started paying health insurance. Right now, I pay around $500 per month for health insurance for my husband, son, and me. This helps cover everything from a simple doctor’s office visit to that time I had a baby. But my employer helps cover the cost of this insurance. And by cover, I mean my employer pays $1,500 per month for me to have health insurance. They take on 3/4 of the cost! Can you imagine if I had to pay $2,000 total for health insurance every month? $1,500 is more than our monthly home mortgage payment. That extra $1,500 is a big deal to us. So I’m incredibly grateful for this benefit from my employer.

BETTER HEALTH

College grads are less likely to be obese because they value exercising and make time to do it. I realize this is a generalization, but if you have a job that doesn’t make enough money to pay your bills, you may have to pick up a second job. That would really limit your time to do other things – like exercise. Or make healthy meals. Or rest and get enough sleep. These are all things needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle – and have fewer health issues.

CLOSER FAMILY

If you have children, you’re more likely to read to them and set them up for success in school – leading to a positive career path. And you’re more likely to offer them unique experiences, like going to a live show or concert.