Seattle Most Educated Big City in the U.S.

Dani Smith, Reporter

Being Seattleites, we have always known that our city is both an amazing and thrilling place to live, but now the city has an even bigger role. As of February 25th, 2019, the Seattle Times released an article about how the city itself is the most educated big city in the U.S., including how 8 in 10 newcomers have a college degree according to Seattle Times columnist Gene Balk.

“Americans are more educated now than they’ve ever been in history,” said Balk.

With Seattle leading this expansion of the higher education boom in the United States, it is still remarkable the percentage we have attained since the turn of the mellenium to get where we are today. Seattle, being one of the 50 largest cities in the nation, was the first and only city to hit the 60% mark of having residents age 25 or older with a four year college degree.

As analyzed by the United States Census Bureau through the Seattle Times, that number has increased with each new generation. According to Balk, 73% of Seattle millennials  are college graduates, whereas for Seattle’s senior residents, that number is slightly over half.

It is now more important than ever that young adults prepare themselves to be able to compete for the best jobs the market has to offer. Balk stated that in 2017, the median earnings for a resident living in greater Seattle area with an bachelor’s degree was $66,000, while a resident with an advanced degree was $80,000 and someone who didn’t complete high school had a median of $22,000.

With these rankings and statistics surfacing within the last couple years, the emphasis on a college education and the resulting degree has become essential for young millenials. According to journalist Abigail Hess from CNBC, the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, calculated a bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 trillion over the span of someone’s lifetime.

The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce through the Chicago Tribune also stated that “people who earn bachelor’s degrees and work full-time can expect to earn 84% more than their peers with a high school diploma over their lifetime.”

As much as people debate whether the cost of higher education is worth it, the Chicago Tribune article by Mark Heckler says it all. With the influence of multiple factors such as rise of artificial intelligence, the call for multitalented critical thinkers in the workplace, and overall competition for the jobs, college is and increasingly will be the best way for millenials to prepare for an uncertain future.

“From a wage perspective alone,” said Heckler.“College is crucial to finding security in the often unstable and unpredictable economy of the 21st century.”

In present day America, not only is a college degree important in the fiscal aspect, but an increase in the importance of the betterment of oneself has risen. According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, not only are salaries a big contributor to why people get a college degree, but also receive increased fringe benefits from their employers such as retirement plans and health insurance that are known to result in better health overall and longer life expectancy.

There is no doubt in anyone’s minds that a college degree isn’t important to gain the tangible skills of high leveled training in a particular field, or potentially higher income over your lifetime according to the Chicago Tribune. But, what seems to be overlooked nowadays with our generation, that is an important key thing that needs to be remembered, are the intangible skills a young adult may learn in an university throughout their years.

College can be a big decision in a newly young adults life, and it may be the perfect place to be able to get a taste of the real world outside of the little bubble you had been previously. According to Becton Loveless from Education Corner, the four years in college will teach you a multitude of skills that you will use throughout your life and will help your personal growth as a young adult.

“A college education requires students to overcomes all types of adversity and prepares them not only for the workplace,” said Loveless. “But for dealing with many of life’s challenges.”

When students leave high school, most of them have no idea of where they want to go in their life or how they are going to get there. It can be a scary thing leaving the place you have made your home the last four years and having to set out as a real adult. College can be a helpful path on the road to your future while being in a safe environment according to Blanchet counselor Heather Rabe.

“Being 18 years old, no one knows what they want to do with their life or who they want to be, so college gives you a safe place and stepping stone into the real world, where you can grow into a young adult and really understand yourself as a person better” said Rabe.

With Seattle being the most highly educated big city in the United States it has definitely sparked conversation about the importance of a college degree in today’s society. College can have a variety of ways for helping us young millennials prepare for the future and real world according to Chicago Tribune. Whether it is the money aspects of it boosting our salaries, or helping us live a healthier happier life, college degrees are important for our futures and help us pave our way in society.