If you’re thinking about going to college, you’re on your way to making a decision that can make a difference for the rest of your life. A college degree can help you get the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to have a successful career.
Now, you’ve probably heard stories about the rising cost of a college education, unemployed or underemployed college graduates and increasing student loan debt. With all of this, you’re probably questioning whether a college degree is worth the investment. Put your mind to rest, a college degree pays off. In fact, research shows that the value of a college degree is at an all-time high.
Now you’re wondering, or you should be, how this can be. While it’s true that college tuition costs have been increasing and wages for college graduates have remained fairly flat, the overall value of earning a college degree has remained strong. A large part of this is the fact that the wages for those without a college degree have been falling. Falling so much that the wage gap between those with a degree and those without has gotten wider, making the value of a college degree increase.
The drop in wages for those without a college degree has outweighed the increases in tuition and fees. This also means that those who choose go to college are giving up less opportunity while they are in school. A high school graduate may choose to go on to college or go to work. Those that get a job are earning income while those that are going to school are giving up that chance. This lost income opportunity is considered a cost of getting a college degree. The drop in wages has decreased this cost of going to college.
Another measure of the value of a college degree is how long it takes to recover the cost of college. The chart below shows that the years it takes to pay back your investment in a college degree is at a low point. This quick recovery shows the solid value of a college degree.
Getting a degree is a big decision. It is an investment of time and money. The recent data shows that earning a college degree is a good long-term investment of your time and finances. Do the research to make the most of your investment.