Traditional College Degree Still Opens Career Doors

Last updated: Feb 28, 2023

Most US adults end up working 40-plus years. That’s a long time, which means it’s critical to navigate a course for a fulfilling career. At USF, we like to talk about our Lifetime Learning Affinity Model and its benefits—academic, professional, and personal—for the duration of an individual’s life. Here, I’d like to specifically speak to its potential application for those with a traditional college degree or those who wish to pursue one. In future blog entries, I’ll address two other routes for careers, programs for “new collar” work, as well as manual trades.


As a passage to a career, a college education still carries significant value and, therefore, is seen as a worthy investment. And it is highly sought one. For instance, there were over 60,000 applications submitted to USF last fall. Only 10% were accepted. The average SAT score for incoming students was a robust 1309! As an aside, this is another reason why test prep is an important component of USF Corporate Training and Professional Education programming. Getting into the college of one’s choice is important.


As a youth, I was told that a college degree was a “golden ticket” of sorts a virtual lock for obtaining a well-paying job, even if the degree’s focus had little to no connection to said position. There was validity to that advice. Entering the workforce with a college degree back then allowed you 10 or more years before any type of continuing education was called for. Today, a college degree still helps one acquire a coveted job, but it will almost certainly take periodic upskilling to update its requirements and reskilling when pivoting to another role is necessary.


The speed of business continues to rev up as it corresponds to the enlarging capacity of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Artificial intelligence and other automated technologies will eliminate certain tasks, but nimble professionals will land on their feet if they are willing to continue learning and adapt to new job demands. Unskilled and low-skill workers risk being left behind. Recognizing today’s business needs, our office aims to empower individuals and companies to create a flexible, resilient workforce.


The traditional college degree remains a desirable asset. Your resume is invariably augmented by its inclusion. But it’ll take regular intervals of new learning to thrive in the modern workplace. Training will benefit all workers—not just those seeking salary bumps or leadership roles. Remember, 40 years is a long time! To have a career that’s purposeful, challenging, and financially rewarding, it’ll be necessary to build on that well-earned degree by staying current with the complexity of the workforce.