With the economy in such dire straits and unemployment rates in the stratosphere, many recent graduates are questioning the wisdom of having shelled out tens of thousands of dollars in order to secure a degree that doesn’t seem to be helping them jump-start a career or even land gainful employment. But sometimes it’s good to play devil’s advocate, and if you look at the situation logically, it still makes more sense than not to charge forward and get your bachelor’s degree. Here are four reasons why.

Forces you to look to the future. If you and your partner have been looking at men’s rings, then you know the importance of looking to the future. Forward thinking helps you to contextualize what you’re doing in the present. Getting your bachelor’s degree will by proxy force you to compartmentalize tasks and responsibilities that will nurture you in planning for the future.

Still looks good on a resume. It might not hold the clout it once did, as a higher percentage of the unemployed tout it on their resume, but it still signifies the makings of an educated professional to most employers, or, at the very least, someone who wants to be an educated professional. It also signifies the makings of someone who needs money in order to pay off their loans and will be willing to stay at the job for more than a month. Jobs are assets these days, the houses of yester-year.

Helps to clarify career paths. One of the major benefits of acquiring a bachelor’s degree is narrowing in on what you want to do with your life. Through trial and error, a lot of hand-wringing, and some all-night paper writing, pursuing a degree will help you eliminate what you don’t want to focus on and what you can see yourself fully immersing yourself in. Remember, you need to love what you do, otherwise you risk being miserable. The journey of getting your bachelor’s degree can help you figure out what you love.

Builds connections. Never underestimate the power of academic connections. A TA or professor you charmed in college could end up recommending you for your dream job. A professor you developed a close, respectful relationship with may write the letter of recommendation that gets you into a top-notch trade school or master’s program. Don’t burn your bridges—any one of them could lead you to higher ground.

Times are tough, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon all hope of finding your dream job and living the life of your choosing. Getting a bachelor’s degree may be more costly and dubious than it was in previous decades, but still has a lot of value and can help you to structure your life and build for a career.

Martin Dasko
Martin Dasko