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There’s a lot of talk about the price of a college education. Over the last decade the price of a four-year college education has risen faster for public schools than it has for private schools in every region of the country according to a article in The Washington Post. Some people advocate forgoing college and starting your own business is a better bet.
However, a study by Pew Research indicates that having that four-year degree, or higher, makes a big difference when it comes to employment. The Rising Cost of Not Going to College released in February 2014 asserts that “On virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment—from personal earnings to job satisfaction to the share employed full time—young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education.” In fact, when comparing today’s young adults with previous generations the report says the disparity in “economic outcomes” has never been greater.
The report noted that when comparing the median annual earnings of Millennials (aged 25 to 32) those with a bachelor’s degree or higher earned $45,500 those with a two-year degree or some college earned $30,000 and those with a college degree earned $28,000. The study also found that college-educated Millennials are more likely to have full-time jobs (89 percent vs. 82 percent) and significantly less likely to be unemployed (3.8 percent vs. 12.2 percent).
It’s important to note that those with more education felt that their job was a career or a stepping stone to a career – 87 percent of those with a four-year degree or higher compared with 73 percent of those with a two-year degree or some college and 57 percent of high-school graduates.
The benefits of a college education are not limited only to Millennials. The Pew Research survey and economic analysis found that college graduates regardless of their generation are doing better than those with less education. However, in 1979 when Boomers were 25 to 32 years old a high-school graduate earned 77 percent of what a college graduate made while today’s high-school graduate earns only 62 percent as much as a college graduate. So it would seem the answer to “is college worth the price?” is a resounding “Yes.”
To read the full report visit Pew Research.