A New Look at the Value of a College Education

GraduationA study just out from the Pew Research Center has again validated what we have come to accept as an inevitable truth: college graduates earn substantially more than their high school graduate counterparts.

In an article today from the Associated Press regarding the study, Pew found that high school graduates made just 62% as much as the college graduates. To put a number on that percentage, Pew found that the average annual earnings for the college graduates was $17,500 more than working adults with just a high school diploma. In addition, the study found that median earnings for high school graduates have actually declined over the past 50 years, while those of college graduates have risen.

One of my favorite quotes from the study as quoted in the AP article is that “About three-fourths of all college graduates say they regretted not doing more during school to better prepare themselves to find a job, such as getting more work experience, studying harder or looking for work sooner.” I can’t wait to share that statistic with our Career Development department.

Of course, we can all agree that it’s not just the piece of paper the college graduates receive that allows them to enjoy higher earnings. Employers recognize that colleges and universities provide the skills training and business literacy students need to make them more valuable in the workplace.

It’s great to see that employers are still willing to place a substantially higher value of what the graduates have achieved and what they are able to contribute.

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