Do You Need a Degree to be Successful in Life?

It is very common to wonder, “Do you really need a degree to be successful?” The answer depends on the type of degree in question and your career and life goals. For instance, the answer to “Do you need a degree to be successful in life as a doctor?” is yes. But that is not the case for every job. 

Do You Really Need a Degree to be Successful? 

Before answering the question of do you need a degree to be successful in life, think about what getting a diploma or degree gives you. It will give you two important advantages in your life. 

#1. Degree Shows You Can Start and Finish Something

To start, your degree is an excellent source of proof that you can finish what you started. People looking to hire you in the future will know that you can finish your projects when you set your mind to them. 

#2. Degree is a Branding Tool

The other big advantage of a degree or diploma is that it lets you brand yourself. Your degree is a differentiator that sets you apart from other job applicants. If your application is identical to someone else’s and you have a degree, you will have an advantage and already be one step ahead of the game. 

Yes, You Need One (With a Few Exceptions)

If you want a quick answer to do you really need a degree to be successful, the answer would be yes. At the very least, you will need a high school diploma, and a college degree can be useful. Yes, there are millionaires and billionaires who dropped out of school, but they are exceptions. It’s realistic to not expect to achieve that. 

A High School Diploma Is Necessary for Many Jobs 

Simply put, you need to get a high school diploma. A high school diploma is a basic requirement for many jobs today, even at fast food restaurants. You won’t even make it to an interview if you don’t have a high school diploma. 

Related Read: Can Online Courses Get You a Job? Online vs. Traditional Education

You May Also Need a College Degree 

But what about a college degree? You will have to think about a few things to decide do you need a degree to be successful in life. 

Get a Degree if You Know What You Want to Do 

Start by asking yourself if you know what you want to do. If you have a clear idea and a degree will help, then yes, you should get the degree. But if you aren’t sure yet, it’s better to wait. Look for a job and figure out what you want to do. You can always go back to school and get a degree later. As a bonus, you will have more savings if you go back to school, making it easier to pay for a college education. 

Think About Your Goal Career and the Requirements

If you know what you want to do, think about your career plans and what you need. For example, doctors need degrees. Lawyers need to go to law school and pass the bar exam. But you may not need a degree for some jobs. 

Consider College Debt 

Don’t forget to factor in college debt as well. If your job doesn’t require a degree, is the debt worth it? 

Become a Lifelong Learner

When it comes to do you really need a degree to be successful, having a specific degree is less important than continuously learning. You don’t necessarily need a college degree to gain skills. 

Related Read: 5 Key Differences Between Institutional and Value Based Education


While a college degree may not always be necessary for the career you want, you need a high school diploma to get started. Whether you need a college degree depends on your intended career path and goals. 

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