A 2014 report by Pew Research Center shows that college grads ages 25 to 32 who now have full-time jobs earn about $17,500 more annually than employed young adults who only graduated from high school.
The disparity in earnings between workers with and without bachelor’s degrees is the largest for Millennials when compared to previous generations, such as baby boomers. Millennials with a high school diploma earn 62 percent of what the typical college graduate earns, the study finds. Compare that to 1979 – a year the first wave of Baby Boomers were the same age as Millennials today – when the study says the typical high school grad earned 77 percent of what a college graduate made.
Even if you are concerned with the cost of college or are already burdened by student loans, the data signals the growing value of a college degree and how it prepares them for a career. The study also found:
- Millennials’ overall median earnings: $35,000
- 9 in 10 Millennials with at least a bachelor’s degree say college has already paid off (72 percent) or will pay off (17 percent).
- Among the two-thirds of Millennials who borrowed money to pay for college, about 9 in 10 (86 percent) say their degrees either have been or will be worth attending college.
- 46 percent of college grads say their education has been “very useful” in preparing them for work and a career.
- 63 percent of college grads are more likely to say they have the necessary education and training to advance in their careers than 41 percent of Millennials with only a high school diploma.
The debate probably will rage on about whether or not a college degree is worth it, but it’s encouraging for those of us at FindTheRightJob.com to see data pointing to more pay for those who stuck it out in college.