Seminole State highlights the value of a bachelor’s degree
Studies show bachelor's degrees offer multiple benefits for graduates and employers.
Friday, June 30, 2023
Written by: Seminole State Staff
While the debate over the value of a college degree continues to be a topic of discussion everywhere from news articles to dinner tables, businesses are seeing the skills gap widen and the need for a highly trained workforce grow. In fact, in a comparison of skills its members listed as most essential for certain jobs in 2015 with the same jobs in 2021, LinkedIn data showed that those skills changed by 25% on average in six years. The analysis also showed that if the trend continues at this pace, anywhere between 39% and 44% of skills could change again by 2025. But the trend needn’t continue. The partnership of industry and higher education provides an answer to bridge the divide.
With a postsecondary credential, such as a bachelor’s degree, employees can easily upskill or reskill for the workforce of today and tomorrow. Take, for example, Seminole State College of Florida’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Management and Organizational Leadership. This program prepares graduates for a career in business leadership, where effective management is key to a business’ success. Through immersive courses built on real-world scenarios, graduates leave the program with the skills to think critically and communicate effectively on a variety of business-related topics, skills that are invaluable to any organization. The curriculum for this degree was created in partnership with the local business community, so employers can be sure graduates of this program will acquire the skills to contribute to their organizations’ success now and for years to come. Other bachelor’s degrees that began last fall at Seminole State include a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (K-6) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Exceptional Student Education (K-12). These degrees were developed in close partnership with Seminole County Public Schools and are designed to help address the critical need for teachers.
“Colleges like Seminole State are a powerhouse of workforce training while also providing pathways to bachelor’s degrees for thousands of Floridians every year,” said Seminole State President Dr. Georgia Lorenz. “Our state colleges offer “stackable” credentials such that a student could earn a certificate in construction, continue coursework—perhaps while working in the industry—to earn an Associate in Science degree, and ultimately achieve state licensing and a Bachelor of Science degree. We call this “learning while earning” which creates a pathway to a desirable career trajectory and higher earning potential.”
According to a Forbes study, graduating with a bachelor’s degree means average potential lifetime earnings of $2.8 million, a full $1.2 million higher than those who earn only a high school diploma.
Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found a direct correlation between unemployment rates and levels of educational achievement. The higher educated you are, the lower the unemployment rate. The highly educated also enjoy higher job security and higher median weekly earnings with each educational benchmark achieved.
Educational attainment is good not only for employees’ futures but also for companies’ bottom lines. Offering tuition assistance to help their employees further their education can be a way for businesses to maximize their return on investment. Research shows that offering such benefits allows companies to attract, train and retain high-quality staff. According to an EdAssist study, employees who take advantage of tuition assistance programs not only build relevant skills but also are more likely to stay with their employers and have higher job satisfaction, which in the long run helps reduce turnover and its associated costs.
“As Baby Boomers retire in record numbers and job functions become more complex, companies are looking to upskill their workforce and are investing in education programs to fill these gaps,” said Stephen Kramer, CEO of Bright Horizons, in response to the EdAssist study’s findings. “As the employment landscape continues to change, tuition assistance programs will become more and more valuable for both employee growth and organizational success.”
When employers partner with local colleges, workforce talent gaps are overcome. Pursuing higher education helps employees gain not only specialized skills but also soft skills that companies value. Plus, with flexible online courses offered at colleges such as Seminole State, it’s easier for team members to balance career, personal life and learning. Supporting education also shows that employers are invested in their employees’ development and success and serves to strengthen the overall business by growing their own skilled workforce from within.
For more information on Seminole State College’s degrees and programs, visit seminolestate.edu/go.
Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves more than 25,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A full-service education provider, Seminole State has thrived by adapting to and meeting the needs of an ever-changing, vibrant community. Seminole State offers 11 bachelor’s degrees in high-demand, high-growth fields; two-year associate degrees; specialized certificates; continuing professional education; adult education and guaranteed admission via DirectConnect to UCF® to the University of Central Florida for Associate in Arts (A.A.) graduates. By offering flexible, affordable, high-quality educational programs and services, the College continues to help students learn, succeed and GO Far. For more about Seminole State, visit seminolestate.edu.
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