Why college is important

Nov. 30, 2016


Continuing your education beyond high school is more important today than ever before. By 2018, an estimated 60 percent of jobs in Missouri will require some form of higher education.


Right now, about 50.6 percent of Missourians have a college degree or certificate. That means Missouri needs more people with an associate or bachelor’s degree or professional certificate.


The number of Missourians earning a degree has grown significantly in the past 10 years, as students have realized how important it is to continue their education. This year, for the first time in history, workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher make up a larger percentage of the workforce than those with a high school diploma or less.


Many of the jobs lost during the Great Recession in 2007-2009 – jobs that required only a high school diploma – are not expected to come back. More than 11 million jobs have been created since the recession ended, and a majority of those jobs have gone to people with at least some college. More than 8 million of those jobs went to workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher.


People in managerial and professional fields such as health care, finance, education and government – jobs that often require a certificate or degree – make up 46 percent of the workforce today, compared to only 28 percent in 1947. These statistics show that times are changing.


Since a college certificate or degree will be a necessity for many jobs, it is important to determine the type of education you need for the type of job you hope to have. Consider your abilities and interests and research careers so you can look at all your options.


Choosing a career should be based on your abilities and interests, but you also should consider how it will pay off after you graduate. Comparing job opportunities where you want to live and the salary they pay might help you decide on a path for your future. You can view top job outlooks and salaries throughout Missouri in the 2016 Missouri Economic Report. Once you’ve determined some possible careers, find out what type of education you need to make it happen.