Today’s college communities include 1.7 million single mothers striving to make a difference to their lives and those of their children. Studying while caring for a child (particularly one who has not started school yet) can be challenging, yet many mothers choose to do so owing to salary boosts for those who hold a college degree. If you are considering commencing or continuing a degree you may have paused for a few months or years, why is it worth doing so, and what steps can you take to make the process smoother?
College graduates earn significantly more than employees without a degree, according to Business Insider. Although the pay gap between the two groups varies from state to state, in states like New York, the percentage difference in median earnings between college graduates and non-graduates amounts to approximately 103% (compared to just 50% in Montana or 86% in Washington). There are indeed companies that are the exception to the rule. Netflix, Google and Apple, for instance, don’t make a four-year degree a requirement for employees, yet they are still the minority in the competitive labour market.
Investment vs Return
Although salaries are higher for graduates, many single mums worry that they cannot afford to take a break from work (or reduce their working hours from full to part-time) for a lengthy four years or more. There are, however, ways to shorten study time. If you wondered how to get a bachelor’s degree in 2 years, there are more ways than one. You can opt for a college that offers accelerated classes, shorten your degree by studying online and completing more subjects than is strictly required, and by opting for general education courses you can do with the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) to gain credits without attending class in person. This way, your time investment is shortened but your return remains the same.
Lifelong Learning Has Benefits
Continued learning as an adult involves more than aiming for better earnings. As found in a study by Marjan Laal, there is an array of benefits associated with lifelong learning. These include improving memory and staying mentally agile, boosting confidence, honing interpersonal skills, improving career opportunities, and sharpening communication abilities. Regardless of the career you choose, all these abilities will help you stay at the top of your game and increase the gamut of companies that may be interested in your skills and experience.
Around 1.7 million single mothers pursue college degrees, though completing their studies and turning learning into a lifelong process can be a challenge. If you are single mum, know that the investment of time and money will pay dividends, but it is important to choose a degree that has a high employment rate post-graduation. Learning will add many abilities to your CV but it will also make you more confident and create a bridge that connects you with fascinating people who share common interests. It is therefore interesting as much from a psychological point of view as from a financial one.