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Going to college pays off: Maybe

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A two- or four-year college degree is becoming more and more important for unlocking the doors to economic and educational opportunity in America today. Getting a college education requires a lot of time, effort and careful planning by parents and students, but it provides knowledge and skills students will use for the rest of their lives to help them succeed in whatever they undertake. By going to college students:

Why go to college?

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, you will have more jobs from which to choose.

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

If you are not interested in going to a four-year college or university for a bachelor's degree, you can benefit from the skills and knowledge that two years of college provide to compete in today's job market. You 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 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 you the chance to learn in a real work setting. This way, the high school material better prepares you for college-level work, and also starts you on a clear path toward a college degree.

(used with permission, department of ed)

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