The Third Degree About Degrees

Recently, I found some interesting data about the average salaries for bachelor’s degrees by institution http://www.payscale.com/college-salary-report/bachelors. The report prompted me to think about the “why” I pursued a college degree many years ago and the process my daughter recently went through.

We have all heard the question (in some form or fashion), “What Is The True Purpose Of A College Degree?” Well, the answer depends. Specifically, it depends on the kind of society in which the degree is earned.

Here in the United States, we live in society based on capitalism. And we know that capitalism is based on one fundamental principle: the market determines the value or the price paid for a product or service available.

But just a minute…We need to remember that not all college degrees are equally valued in the marketplace. A person’s academic performance must be considered. This performance gives an employer an idea about that person’s level of intelligence and commitment to their studies. Of course, students at the top of the class typically have more job options and higher offers than students ranked lower.

The next element that determines the value of a degree is the focus of the earned degree. The student’s major, if there is high demand for that major, will of course provide that student with great options and higher offers.

And finally, the overall reputation of the institution from which the degree is earned will determine the value of that degree in the job market. Of course, the higher the academic reputation the greater the employment options and offer amounts.

So where does this leave career services professionals dedicated to helping students find professionally satisfying work that also meets their financial needs? If you thought between a “rock and a hard place” you would be right, of course. As a career services professional, you work tirelessly to support students in their quest to find the right job and career. Considering all the variables related to your student’s academic record, major and demand for that major in the marketplace, your job is quite daunting, at best.  Add to all this that your ability to support students is hampered by an average career counselor to student ratio of 1:1,850.

The good news is that there are two options before you. Continue to do what you are doing now or engage a resource to help you make a greater difference with your students. Meridian Resources University Solutions provides solutions to higher education institutions that offer a direct, beneficial impact on your ability to further enhance positive career management outcomes for your students. Call 336-978-5208 or e-mail me at mscales@meridianresourcesinc.com to find out more about how to help your students.

Contributing Author: Melvin J. Scales

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About University Solutions

Meridian University Solutions partners with Business and Professional School Administrators to deliver career coaching to their most important asset - students and alumni. We enhance existing career services through customized coaching solutions well integrated into the program. Our goal is to equip students past and present with the skills and resources to leverage their degree toward career growth upon graduation and beyond. In so doing, we assist Business and Professional Schools to differentiate themselves by delivering significant return on their students' academic investments.
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