Robyn Gee on Tuesday, Jun. 28th
The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce released a study this past weekend that laid out grim projections for income equality by 2025. The study is called, “The Undereducated American,” and was authored by Anthony P. Carnevale & Stephen J. Rose.
As of 2010, the study reports that college graduates make 74 percent more earnings than high school graduates. This disparity will increase to 96 percent by 2025, if we continue to under-produce college graduates. The study explains that this country’s demand for college-educated workers has outpaced our supply.
The solution? Simple. Churn out 20 million more college graduates by 2025.
This goal aligns with President Obama’s national goal of having the highest share of college graduates compared to any other nation by 2020. The study claims that the boost in college-educated workers will boost the economy as well. “The [study] demonstrates that adding these workers will boost GDP by $500 billion, add over $100 billion in additional tax revenues, and stop and begin to reverse the growth of income inequality.”
So we want to reduce economic inequality, but students are emerging from universities with enormous debt on their shoulders. How do 18-year-olds make the decision to put themselves in so much debt just so that the country can meet its 20 million mark?
The Atlantic recently published an article which makes the decision a little easier. College, according to the article, is one of the least risky investments you can make, with the best rate of return. The article cites data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that with each level of education, the unemployment rate goes down and the median wages go up. The degree is worth it. Though college may not be for everyone, if you’re going to invest in something, forget stocks or gold, and consider college.
Education is still the best investment, but data shows that what you major in will drastically shape your financial future. Previously, Turnstyle looked at another Georgetown study called, “What’s It Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors,” in which the Center on Education and the Workforce analyzed the average income of different college majors. We learned that engineering majors have the highest starting median salaries, and psychology and social work majors have the lowest.
So now we have all the information: going to college is worth it and choosing a major wisely pays off. It will be fascinating to watch how these messages trickle down into high school classrooms. Setting college as the goal is one thing – teachers can plaster posters of Harvard and Stanford on their walls and take their classes on campus tours – but is college accessible to everyone? That’s another riddle left to solve.
Atlantic • college • education • Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce • Peter Thiel • President Obama • The Undereducated America • What's It Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors