The Monetary Value of Education
The value of education is hard to define. We have heard from parents, teachers and employers that education is a pathway to a better life. Yet we must wonder how far we must go to achieve the lifestyle that we want. Whether we finish high school and start to work or go to our doctoral degree before entering upon an occupation is a personal choice about your own feelings of self-worth. It is important to look at the statistics.
Over the last couple of decades the children born to parents who do not have a college education are increasingly impoverished (1):
1. The percentage of children in low-income families of parents who do not hold a high school diploma increased from 68% to 73%.
2. The percentage of children in low-income families of parents who have a high school diploma but no college increased from 38% to 43%.
3. The percentage of children in low-income families of parents who have some college decreased from 18% to 15%.
We thus find that the education that we hold has a direct effect on the lifestyles of our children. The lower your education the more chance your children are poor and the higher education you have the lower chance that your children will be poor. Education then becomes paramount to raising children with a chance to succeed.
Adults between the age of 25 and 64 earned an average of $34,700 per year (2). Consider the following statistics (2):
1. High school dropouts earned on average $18,900 per year.
2. High school graduates earned on average $25,900 per year.
3. College graduates earned on average $45,400 per year.
4. Doctoral degrees earn on average $99,300 per year.
The more education you complete the higher your earnings will be. You can tell from the averages that doctoral graduates earn more than 5 times what an uneducated person does in a single year. Over a 30-year working career this could be as much as 2.4 million dollars. The average increase in wealth over your working life far outweighs the initial cost of $50,000 to $100,000 in educational costs. Do you believe that education is an important pathway to a successful life?