Is a college education worth it? With the rising costs of education in the United States, many are asking that question. There is talk of a bubble in student loan debt similar to the housing bubble and the increased burden on families from this debt. Textbook prices have skyrocketed over the past 30 years. I could go on with mounting evidence against a college education being a good decision. As late as May 2013, the Boston Globe questioned the value of a college education. The average per year tuition for a four-year degree ranged from $8,900 to $30,000 a year, depending on the type of school attended – but will this pay off and justify the cost?
Recent evidence and research is saying yes. Although your results may vary, researchers from the Pew Research Center found that the average college graduate earns $17,500 more per year than someone who only holds a high school diploma. Without using any fancy financial calculations, you can see how quickly an investment pays off if the average college graduate earns on average of $17,500 more per year! Of course, you can’t expect to immediately earn that much extra upon graduation, but over your lifetime, you can see how much a college degree can be worth.
An even more stark revelation found by the Pew Center is that this gap between those with college degrees and those without is the largest it has been in nearly 80 years! The value of your degree is even greater than it was for your parents or even grandparents.
While not every job in our modern economy will require a college degree, you can see that the smart choice is a college education!
About the Author:
Dr. Jeff Johnson serves as a graduate school professor at Sullivan University, where he teaches Economics, Quantitative Methods, Operations, and doctoral level courses. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Kentucky. From 2000–2007, Dr. Johnson also served as the dean of the Graduate School for the University. He has taught at the University of Kentucky and Western Michigan University, and has taught at Sullivan University’s Graduate School since 1997. Prior to graduate studies at UK, Dr. Johnson worked as a research analyst at Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, where he developed a broad knowledge of statistical software.
Dr. Johnson’s current research interests include examining course outcomes in non-traditional vs. traditional delivery formats and their broader policy implications. Along with several Sullivan University doctoral student co-authors, he has several research studies in progress, including several pending publications and conference presentations.
In addition to his work at Sullivan University, Dr. Johnson has also served as a board member for the Kentucky Economics Association and currently serves as the president of the Louisville Landsharks Multisport Club, which boasts 300+ members. He is also is very active in his local church. He regularly participates in Ironman distance triathlons and has completed several of these events along with many marathons, shorter running distance events, and shorter triathlons.