Reasons for Hispanics to pursue a Degree

There are four important reasons to pursue a degree as a Hispanic:
  • Access to exclusive job opportunities
  • Higher-income
  • Improved quality of life
  • Networking

A Degree provides access to Exclusive Job Opportunities

My personal experience is that a degree allows you to become a competitive candidate for worthwhile jobs. These jobs typically offer career advancement, professional development opportunities, retirement benefits (i.e., pension, 401k plan), and medical benefits. 

A few noteworthy employers that offer excellent benefits include, but are not limited to: 

Education leads to Higher Income

The previous blog post discussed Hispanics’ low high school and college attainment. The effect of not  pursuing a degree is having a lower income than those who do obtain a degree. According to data from the National Center of Education Statistics, annual income increases between 25% to 35% with each degree. However, attending college but not graduating only showed an increase in yearly income by 9%.

A Degree leads to an improved Quality of Life

Hispanic Employment Breakdown

According to data from the United States Bureau of Labor statistics, Hispanics typically work in the service, transportation, and construction sector. These jobs require physical work and do not offer medical or retirement benefits. Additionally, the income tends to be insufficient. To make up for the balance, employees work extra hours, putting further strain on their bodies, minds, and personal relationships. Moreover, these jobs are not secure. For example, during the pandemic, employees from this sector were the first to be let go and the most difficult to find employment in.

On the other hand, an educated professional is provided with medical insurance, a retirement plan, time-off for vacation and medical appointments, and a sufficient salary so that working an extra job is unnecessary. In some cases, employers may even offer a gym membership.

Depending on the employer, strict work hours may be encouraged. For example, contacting another employee about work after 5 PM may be frowned upon.

Another not-talked-about benefit is homeownership. Employers provide proof of financial stability so that employees can get bank approval for a mortgage and buy a home. On the other hand, it is difficult for a service worker to get approved for a mortgage because banks do not consider service jobs as steady employment.

The benefits discussed create a healthy work-life balance and an improved quality of life.

A Degree allows you to Network with other Educated Professionals

An educated professional has the opportunity to network with others in their place of employment or at conferences. These individuals typically have years of experience under their belt. Learning from them allows you to gain valuable knowledge to advance your career.

STEM degrees can provide greater benefits than non-STEM degrees

Stay tuned for the next blog post, which will discuss the benefits of pursuing STEM degrees versus non-STEM degrees

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Stephanie Taboada

The author of this post has a Chemical Engineering Ph.D. and is an Engineering Professor with industry experience. As a Latina and a STEM professional, Stephanie is passionate about incentivizing Hispanics to pursue STEM. Read Stephanie's blog to understand the opportunities that exist in STEM for underrepresented groups. Follow her on social media to learn when the next blog post will be published.

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