If college graduates from 2004 were to return to their alma mater, they’d probably remember everything, save for a new building or walking path here and there. But if they were to get back in the classroom? Well, they probably wouldn’t recognize a thing.
Many factors, including employers’ heightened demand for a college degree as well as the explosion of new technology, have resulted in a student population that is now broader and more inclusive than ten years ago.
A closer look at the numbers will also show that students must do more to compete for their success. Here are some of the ways this is happening:
71 percent of students are non-traditional
Plain and simple, fewer students today focus just on school. More students have full-time jobs, internships, families, and even serve in the military on top of a full classload. And while this shows that more students are taking their education – and future – into their own hands, it’s also been shown that more students are being forced to take time off school for financial reasons. What this means for you is that whatever your case is, go into college with a 4, 5, or even 6-year plan so that you don’t have to end up sacrificing education for other obligations.
18.65 million students are taking at least one online class in 2014
This number, compared with the mere 5.14 million who reported taking solely in-person classes, is one of the biggest advantages busy students have today that they didn’t ten years ago. The rise of online classes means that students are spending less time commuting and more time learning. If you find yourself wishing your class times were more spread out, or that you could study more at night and from home, online classes can be your friend.
Over 13 billion dollars spent on electronic school supplies every year by students
Another huge benefit students have cashed in on is technology. Phones, laptops, tablets, and apps are allowing students to be better organized and stay more connected with their schoolwork all the time. And with more technology, electronics have also become more accessible. Costly technology myths, for example, no longer apply today. So as long as it doesn’t become a distraction, electronics can help you keep up with the pace of today’s classroom.
91 percent of bachelor’s grads who feel their degree has paid or will pay off
More than ever, a college education is valuable. While there is still huge demand for skilled workers and trade employees, much of the education in even these fields has shifted to higher education, and even an associate’s degree in your field can make you stand out to employers. If you have any questions about your education, be sure to contact SOAR for help with school supplies, 4-year plans, or anything else.