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The importance of a university degree

Updated April 17, 2017

The importance of a university degree is ubiquitous. University degrees show elements of maturity, resilience and drive. Graduates with a university degree are often offered opportunities for better occupations and higher pay. In general, such a degree may allow for further advancement of one's career. A university degree shows that a graduate has knowledge in a specified field and can follow instruction, meet deadlines and be an overall asset to a company.

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Competitive Advantage

According to DegreeDirectory.org, "a college degree demonstrates interest in a chosen field, knowledge and experience." When applying for job openings in various competitive fields, candidates who have a degree hold the advantage over those without. When open spots are limited and candidates are plentiful, a university degree could be the difference. Candidates who haven't earned a degree, or those who have earned a two-year degree from a community college instead of a four-year degree from a reputable university, will have less offers.


Many professional positions--especially those that entail specialised certification or licensing--require a university degree. Fields in medicine, law and education require both professional certificates or licensing and university degrees; in many cases, they require more than one university degree. Prospective professionals in such fields usually first earn a university degree, then acquire the proper licensing before practicing in a desired field.

Attending a University

The process of going to school and earning a university degree is sometimes just as important as the degree itself. It is important to note that "while your education will be varied, it is connected and under girded by your learning to question and reason seriously, rationally, and analytically," as stated by the University of Oregon's academic advising team. Attending a university also helps students evolve their communication processes by learning to understand and accept new people and surroundings.


Graduating with a university degree requires a set of classes for all students, regardless of major. Generally, a student needs to take prerequisite and general education classes before classes associated with his major. While students who graduate with an associate's degree typically need to pass about 20 classes, university degree graduates generally take around 36 to 45 classes.


The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education observes that "college education has now taken on the importance that a high school education had in the past, and has become a necessary ingredient for a good job and comfortable lifestyle." University degrees hold importance in many businesses because such degrees also teach respect and perceptiveness, which come with the maturity associated with attending college.

To exemplify the importance of a university degree, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that between 2004 and 2014, more jobs will be held by people without university degrees. However, the BLS also affirms that those who do enter the workforce with a university degree will, on average, earn much higher wages.

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About the Author

Mandi R. Hall

Mandi Hall has been involved in local writing projects since 2000. Previously employed by Gale: A Part of Cengage Learning as a project manager, her writing and copyediting work appears in various textbooks and knowledge portals, as well as on websites such as eHow, WiseGEEK, Kosmix.com and Business.com. Hall received her Bachelor of Arts in written communications from Eastern Michigan University in 2007.

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