Is it normal to complete a bachelor's degree before working a first real job?

Wondering if it's normal to finish a bachelor's degree before diving into the job market? Check out our article to find out and make an informed decision!

This is a question that plagues many young people as they navigate their way through the job market. With the cost of higher education on the rise and the job market becoming increasingly competitive, it's understandable that people are wondering if it's worth it to invest in a degree before diving into the workforce.

To answer this question, we need to consider both the pros and cons of earning a bachelor's degree before starting a career. Let's start with the pros:

Pros of earning a bachelor's degree before starting a career:

Increased earning potential

Studies have consistently shown that individuals with a bachelor's degree earn more over their lifetime compared to those without a degree. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median weekly earnings for those with a bachelor's degree are $1,198, compared to just $712 for those without a degree.

Greater job security

It's no secret that the job market can be unstable, with layoffs and downsizing occurring all too often. However, research has shown that those with a bachelor's degree are less likely to be laid off and have better job security overall.

More job opportunities

With a bachelor's degree, you'll have access to a wider range of job opportunities, including positions that may be off-limits to those without a degree. This can give you more flexibility and options when it comes to your career.


But it's not all sunshine and roses when it comes to earning a degree before starting a career. There are also some potential drawbacks to consider:

Cons of earning a bachelor's degree before starting a career:

Time and money

Obtaining a bachelor's degree can be a lengthy and expensive process. It can take four or more years to complete a degree, and the cost of tuition, books, and other expenses can add up quickly. This can be a burden for some people, especially if they're already struggling to make ends meet.

Lost income

While you're in school, you're not earning a paycheck. This can be a concern for those who need to support themselves or their families financially.

No guarantee of a job

Unfortunately, earning a bachelor's degree does not guarantee you a job. There are no guarantees in the job market, and even with a degree, you may still struggle to find employment.


So, is it normal to complete a bachelor's degree before working a first real job?

The answer is complicated.

Ultimately, it comes down to what's best for you and your individual circumstances. If you're able to afford the cost of a degree and are willing to put in the time and effort, it can be a great investment. However, if you're struggling financially or are unsure if a degree is the right path for you, it may be worth exploring other options.

In the end, the decision to earn a bachelor's degree before starting a career is a personal one.

It's important to weigh the pros and cons and consider your own unique circumstances before making a decision.

One way to make the decision easier is to do some research on the job market and see what employers are looking for in candidates. If you find that a bachelor's degree is a requirement for the types of jobs you're interested in, it may be worth pursuing.

Alternatively, you may want to consider alternative options such as vocational or trade schools, or even starting your own business. These options can be a great way to gain valuable skills and experience without committing to a traditional four-year degree.


No matter what path you choose, it's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether or not it's normal to complete a bachelor's degree before working a first real job. What's most important is finding the option that works best for you and your goals.

If you do decide to pursue a degree, it's important to choose a program that aligns with your interests and career goals. This can help ensure that you get the most out of your education and increase your chances of success in the job market.

It's also worth considering the value of real-world experience. While a bachelor's degree can be a valuable asset, it's not the only factor that employers consider when hiring. Many employers also value candidates with practical skills and experience, whether through internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer work.


Ultimately, the decision to earn a bachelor's degree before starting a career is a personal one that requires careful consideration. It's important to weigh the pros and cons and consider your own unique circumstances before making a decision.

Whether you choose to pursue a degree or opt for alternative options, it's crucial to do your research and make an informed choice that aligns with your goals and interests.


Now that we've explored the pros and cons of earning a bachelor's degree before starting a career, let's take a look at some common questions people have about this topic.

FAQ #1: Is it necessary to earn a bachelor's degree before starting a career?

Not necessarily. While a bachelor's degree can be a valuable asset and can open doors to a wider range of job opportunities, it's not the only path to a successful career. Some people are able to succeed without a degree, either by building their own businesses or by gaining practical skills and experience through internships or part-time work.

That being said, it's worth considering the job market and what employers are looking for in candidates. If you find that a bachelor's degree is a requirement for the types of jobs you're interested in, it may be worth pursuing.

FAQ #2: Can I start my career and go back to school later?

Absolutely. There's no rule that says you have to earn a degree before starting your career. In fact, many people choose to work for a few years before returning to school to earn a degree. This can be a great way to gain valuable real-world experience and save up money to pay for tuition and other expenses.

It's also worth considering that many employers offer tuition reimbursement programs, which can make it easier to return to school while still working. If you're considering going back to school later in your career, it's worth checking with your employer to see what options are available.

FAQ #3: Can I earn a bachelor's degree online?

Yes, it's possible to earn a bachelor's degree online, and many people choose this option for its convenience and flexibility. Online programs can be a great fit for those who are unable to attend traditional on-campus classes due to work or other commitments.

That being said, it's important to do your research when considering an online program. Not all online programs are created equal, and it's crucial to choose one that is accredited and reputable. This will ensure that your degree will be recognized by employers and that you're getting a quality education.

In conclusion, the decision to earn a bachelor's degree before starting a career is a personal one that requires careful consideration. It's important to weigh the pros and cons and consider your own unique circumstances before making a decision. Whether you choose to pursue a degree or opt for alternative options, it's crucial to do your research and make an informed choice that aligns with your goals and interests.



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