College Diploma

Getting A College Diploma Gives You More Earning Power Over Your Lifetime

With the recession of 2008, there has been a lot of talk about how college graduates are struggling to get jobs. Even today with the economy beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel – the housing market is improving, the stock market has more rebounded, there is more construction, and an increase in hiring by companies – there are still many recent graduates who are not finding the jobs they want. However, take note: College grads still fare better than their high-school counterparts who don’t have that university diploma in hand.

According to a study released in 2011 by Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, individuals with a Bachelor’s degree make 84% more over a lifetime than high school graduates. In 1999, the premium was 75%, according to the study.

Here are some stats from the study to chew on:

• On average, a doctoral degree-holder will earn $3.3 million over a lifetime, compared to $2.3 million for a college graduate and $1.3 million for those with a high school diploma.
• People with less education in high-paying occupations can out-earn their counterparts with advanced degrees. But within the same industry, workers with more schooling usually will get paid better.
• Gender and racial discrepancies continue: To earn as much as their male colleagues, women tend to need much higher degrees, even while working the same hours. Black and Latino master’s degree-holders don’t out-earn Caucasian college graduates. But Asians with graduate degrees out-earn all other races and ethnicities at the same educational level.
• The highest-paying occupations for each degree tier vary. High school graduates can make $2.2 million over their lifetimes as general and operations managers. College graduates who become chief executives or legislators can make $4.5 million. Physicians and surgeons rake in nearly $6 million.

Georgetown researchers had also estimated that 63% of American jobs will require some sort of postsecondary education or training by 2018. The U.S. ranks 10th globally in college degree attainment, with 41% of adults earning a Bachelor’s degree.