Want to be happier, wealthier and experience a higher quality of life? Get a degree.

Your college degree is more than a passport into the working world. Results of the 2018 General Social Survey (GSS) in the US suggests that those with a college degree are not only happier and healthier, but enjoy a higher quality of life than those with a high school education or less, writes Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes. On its website, the GSS notes that it provides politicians, policymakers and scholars “with a clear and unbiased perspective on what Americans think and feel about such issues as national spending priorities, crime and punishment, intergroup relations, and confidence in institutions”. It’s considered to be among the most influential studies in the social sciences. GSS’ survey includes hundreds of questions that tap individuals’ feelings about their personal lives and well-being, while responses are broken out by the highest level of education completed (less than high school; high school; and college, which included a two-year degree or higher). The survey’s findings are consistent with the recent finding that a college degree conveys a 75 percent wage premium (approximately US$33,000 per year) compared to a high-school diploma, notes Nietzel. He adds that this might be associated with the fact that adults with a high school diploma or less in the labour force are “twice as likely to be unemployed or underemployed as those with a B.A. or more”.

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