In high school almost every student is bombarded with the mantra that on average people with college degrees earn higher wages or salaries than those who only graduate high school. They tout that on average graduates win anywhere from hundreds of thousands to 1.5 million dollars more.
But in order to really look at this claim a little closer you have to look at the real statistics and of course it can get pretty complicated but for the sake of making this more understandable we will look at government statistics produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data is taken from full time wage earners for the year 2010 for people aged 25 and older.
The data shows that people with a high school diploma have median weekly earnings of about $626 that's a little over half of what you could earn if you had a Bachelor's degree. The median earnings for the Master's degree are about $200 more than the Bachelor's and although it doesn't seem significant, in the long, it can really add up.
Finally, the pay peaks at the Professional degree level which is somewhat surprising since most people would assume that someone holding a Doctoral degree has much more earning potential. Conclusively, we can see that there is a gradual positive trend upward as you get a higher degree except for the decline at the Doctoral level.
The statistics prove a very important thing to students: that is that it's good to get a degree before you call it quits at the high school level. But it's not enough to look at statistics and think that you will have a high paying job without having the individual attributes of a good employee.
Remember that employers are not looking at statistics to determine whether to hire you or not. They are more interested in your personal skill, work ethics and ability to get the job done.
Not working on personal attributes like those I mentioned is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes students make. One thing you could do is start joining internships in your field of interest so that you can begin to cultivate work experience. Experience is a major part of what sets many prospects apart from the majority of students who can only show a piece of paper (their degree).
If you look at the graph you will also notice that as you attain higher levels of education the lower the unemployment rate is. The Doctoral degree has an incredibly low rate of 1.9 percent. The current state of the economy is still not on a continual upward trend so getting a degree will vastly improve your chances to land a dream job in the future.
My advice is to at least attend a community college and obtain an Associate degree if can't find a way to attend a university without getting in too much debt. The truth is that education still pays and it dramatically improves your chances at keeping your job. What do you think is the most important aspect of getting an education and is it worth the money and trouble?
Share your knowledge with other students about the topic on the page.