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The Effect of Education on Income

Mar 31 2011

Does higher education mean a higher salary?

Everyone knows that there is a large correlation between educational level and salary. However, having a higher education does not always mean that you are able to find a higher paying job and many factors should be considered before deciding to pursue a higher educational degree.

The average income of a college graduate is $49,303 where the average income in the United Sates overall is $32,104, a large gap illustrating how education can improve your job opportunities and income. The salary for careers that only require a high school diploma or GED is between $17,700 and $33,300, on the other end of the spectrum, salary for careers that require a Ph.D., M.D., or law degree is between $53,500 and $166,400+. This illustrates what an enormous income gap there can be between someone who has a higher degree and someone who only has a GED; but this is only the potential gap, and while the actual gap is large, it is much smaller then the potential.

Is having a better opportunity to find a high paying job worth all the work involved in getting a higher education? Not only does it take a lot of work but it also costs money, and even puts many in debt. Career assessment and job aptitude tests are very useful tools that should be included in this decision; they can be very useful in helping find which career you could do well in and would enjoy, therefor impacting your decision on higher education. Knowing what you career you would like to pursue is extremely helpful when deciding whether of not to pursue higher education and can prevent many from making the wrong decision and can even motivate some to make the right one.

Though a higher educational degree will give someone a much greater opportunity in finding a higher paying career, it does not guarantee that they will be able find one. There is a large difference between the average income for a college graduate and the average income for someone in the United States, which shows that it would be worth it to obtain a higher degree. However, there are more factors to consider the as the job market is constantly changing and unemployment is high; which has created a whole new set of problems for recent college graduates that are looking for work. But there are still many jobs that are growing and are expected to continue to to so over the next few years.

The decision to pursue higher education should never be taken lightly. Career assessment and job aptitude tests can be very useful when making this life changing decision. Overall, although salary does improve with higher education it does not guarantee it.