The answer to these questions might not be so simple. However, according to a recent study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, earning a college degree is still a wise investment. Although many new graduates are facing the increasing challenges of the global job market, while some others still remain unemployed and underemployed, two economists, Richard Deitz and Jaison R. Abel, found that pursuing a college degree is still worth it, in spite of rising college tuition.
Let’s have a look...shall we?
A recent study conducted by the 2 economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reveal that despite lower earning of recent grads, both associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees have an average annual ROI (Return on Investment) of around 15 per cent. Surprisingly, this figure has remained mostly constant for over 10 years in the U.S. The report, entitled “Current Issues in Economics and Finance”, was prepared using statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Education Department, The College Board and the US Census Bureau.
Messrs. Abel and Deitz wrote, “The good news for college graduates is that the return to college remains high on average. However, the bad news is that college students are paying more to go to school and are earning less upon graduation.”
What did the study find?
The study shows that attending college is still worthwhile, particularly in this economic downturn, as the salaries of individuals without any degrees have also reduced drastically. Several education experts believe that the findings also hold true even for online degrees and diplomas. As postgraduate programmes like postgraduate diploma in management online are being offered by many top-notch universities worldwide, more and more employers are now recognising online degrees as valuable qualifications.
The New York Federal Reserve Bank study shows that if you have a bachelor's degree or an associate's degree you will certainly earn more money throughout your career than those who gave college a miss, even when you consider the high cost of college education. Even if your job does not need a college degree, it can still prove to be an excellent investment.
Richard Deitz and Jaison Abel have found that a bachelor's degree graduate earns an average of $1.2 million more than person with only a high school diploma, between the ages 22 and 64. In case of a graduate with an associate's degree, you will end up earning $325,000 more than your friend who has earned only a high school qualification. The 2 economists also found that the wage difference between bachelor's degrees and associate's degrees largely remained the same over the last few years. An associate degree holder earned an average of $46,300 last year, while and bachelor's degree holder earned almost $65,800 annually.
However, you need to keep in mind that an online postgraduate diploma will also help you to earn a hefty salary, which might even be more than traditional degrees as you will not have to bear high tuition fees.
What about tuition?
The study also shows that the cost of lost wages (not working during your course duration) and tuition fees for associate's degrees is at $40,000 to $60,000; and between $110,000 and $130,000 for a full-time on-campus bachelor's degree. Hence, pursuing an online learning programme might just prove to be more beneficial. As online courses offer excellent convenience and flexibility, you will not have to miss out on any employment opportunities while you continue your higher education.
So...is a college degree worth it?
Due to rising unemployment rates, increasing tuition costs and heavy burden of student debts among recent college graduates since the recession, many young students have started to doubt the worth of higher education. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York study goes on to show that a college degree is not only a good investment, but it will prove beneficial for you in the long run. Last year another report prepared by the Pew Research Center also corroborated this claim and revealed that grad with college degrees earned more salaries and had lower unemployment rates when compared to young adults with just high school education.
So...what do you think? Will you go for a college degree or an online degree? Or will you simply skip college and start your career straightaway? No matter what you decide, you need to understand that a recognised qualification can certainly take you a long and boost your future career.