Consider these good reasons for going to college and earning a degree: 

• More career opportunities 
• Greater earning power
• More knowledge on a variety of subjects that interest and can be helpful to you
• Improved quality of life
• Greater ability to help others in your community

By going to college, students:

Get (and keep) a better job. Because the world is changing rapidly, and many jobs rely on new technology, more and more jobs require education beyond high school. With a two- or four-year college education, your child will have more jobs from which to choose. 

Earn more money. On average a person who goes to college earns more than a person who does not. Someone with a two-year associate's degree earns more than a high school graduate. In 1995, a man with a college degree earned almost 89 percent more than a man with only a high school diploma, and a woman with a college degree earned almost 73 percent more than a woman with only a high school diploma. 

Get a good start on life. A college education helps your child acquire a wide range of knowledge in many subjects, as well as advanced knowledge in the specific subjects they are most interested in. College also trains students to express thoughts clearly in speech and in writing, to make informed decisions, and to use technology--useful skills on and off the job. 

Students who are not interested in going to a four-year college or university for a bachelorís degree can benefit from the skills and knowledge that two years of college provide to compete in todayís job market. These students may want to pursue a technical program in a community, junior, or technical college, which provides the skills and experience employers look for. Many high schools and some local employers offer career-focused programs called "Tech-prep," "2+2," "school-to-work,"or "school-to-career," which are linked to community and technical colleges. These programs coordinate high school course work with course work at local colleges, and in some cases give students the chance to learn in a real work setting. This way, the high school material better prepares students for college-level work, and also starts the student on a clear path toward a college degree.

Students interested in technical programs will probably want to take some occupational or technical courses in high school, but they also need to take the "core" courses in English, math, science, history, and geography.

What kinds of jobs can you get with a college education?
One of the major benefits of acquiring a college education is having more jobs to choose from. Parents and students should talk about what kind of work interests the
student and find out more about the kind of education that specific jobs require. For instance, some job fields, such as medicine or law, require graduate degrees beyond the traditional four-year degree. As students mature and learn about different opportunities, they may change their mind several times about the type of job they want to have. Changing your mind is nothing to worry about--but not planning ahead is. For more information on the educational requirements of specific jobs, contact a guidance counselor or check the Occupational Outlook Handbook on the Internet or in your library.