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The Hidden Benefits of Earning a College Degree

Most people know that pursuing a college degree is highly beneficial when it comes to having financial security and job satisfaction. In fact, statistics show that unemployment rates are the lowest among college graduates. While these benefits are generally well-known, recent studies have revealed other surprising benefits that college graduates enjoy. From health to happiness, the research clearly indicates that a college degree is a worthwhile investment for many surprising reasons. Here are five of the unexpected rewards you can look forward to after earning a college degree.

Better Physical Health

According to a study published by the American Journal of Public Health, those who obtain a bachelor’s degree after the age of 25 have lower rates of depression and better overall health than those with less education. College graduates also report a lower rate of smoking and a higher tendency to engage in regular physical exercise. These health benefits even extend to the children of college-educated adults. Research shows that children of parents who have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher are at a lower risk of becoming obese. Highly educated people have more information on how to make healthy choices and are more likely to avoid unhealthy behaviors. Better access to healthcare may also account for the link between education and better health.

Stronger Personal Relationships

The divorce rate may be high, but research over the last 60 years has consistently shown lower divorce rates among educated couples. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a connection between higher levels of education and lower divorce rates, citing the extensive research of economist Betsey Stevenson. After analyzing data from 1950 to 2008, Stevenson found that educated women are more likely to get married and to stay married. Women with a college degree are also more likely to express happiness and contentment within their marriages. This can largely be attributed to the fact that college-educated couples are more likely to see their marriages as equal partnerships and less likely to marry for money or economic support.The interpersonal benefits of higher education also extend to relationships between parents and their children. Educated parents often find greater success in nurturing the emotional and intellectual well-being of their children.

Increased Happiness

College graduates tend to have a more optimistic outlook on life and are more likely to view their personal success and accomplishments with positivity. College educated individuals are also more inclined to engage in social activities and to work toward cultivating their interests. Social interaction is shown to reduce the risk of depression, and participation in a variety of activities fosters well roundedness and self-confidence.The college experience tends to encourage other behaviors that lead to happiness such as volunteering, donating blood and political activism. College graduatesfrequently give back to their communities and enjoy the sense of self-worth that comes with their generosity.

Better Decision-Making Skills

One of the most beneficial things you can gain from a college education is the ability to think analytically. College courses are geared toward encouraging students to think outside of the box and to challenge the status quo. As a result, college graduates have an advantage when it comes to making intelligent choices. For example, college-educated individuals tend to make more informed consumer purchasing choices and are more likely to implement a responsible budget. Additionally, today’s college students must become familiar with all of the latest technology, which fosters the critical thinking skills that are necessary for making well-informed decisions.

Positive Role Models

Earning a college degree is no easy task, and those who work hard to achieve this goal go on to become excellent role models. College-educated parents, for example, are likely to pass on their enthusiasm for education to their children. College graduates frequently serve as positive role models outside of the home as well. Earning a college degree fosters growth and maturity, whichpositively influences family members and coworkers. A college education also leads to confidence, security and self-reliance. These are essential qualities for those who hope to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Without a doubt, earning a college degree is an investment that will reap many benefits throughout your life. In addition to qualifying your for higher paying jobs, a college education will improve your chances of happiness and success for years to come.

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