College Education Vs. High School Education Income


College Education Vs. High School Education Income Essay, Research Paper

In our current economy, the need for a college education has become increasingly valuable despite the high cost of tuition and loans. The demand for skilled, college-educated laborers is high. A college education can also determine a person’s future income potential and, in many cases, it is the only way a person can climb up the socioeconomic ladder.

The idea that a college education is more valuable that a high school education is correct. A person with a college education generates a higher income than that of a high school graduate.

Besides the differences in incomes among the college educated and non-college educated, there are also differences in employment opportunities among college educated, high school educated and high school dropouts. An education also holds the key to what kinds of jobs or career he/she can or cannot obtain. The higher a college degree is, the higher the potential income earnings are. On average, a limited education impedes a person’s employment opportunities. Rather, how much education will affect how broad his/her job opportunity outlook will be.

According to Youth Indicators,

“Between 1965 and 1992, the percentage of non-college bound high school graduates entering the labor force changed little. In contrast, the proportion of college students who were also in the labor force rose form 28% in 1965 to 49% in 1992.”

(National Center for Education Statistics pg72)

Therefore, there are more job opportunities for the college educated than high school educated.

The value of a college education can be invaluable for one’s economic future. With the realization of this, post-secondary enrollments have increased continuously over the years.

“The percentage of high school graduates who enrolled in 2- or 4- year colleges or universities in the October following graduation increased from 49% to 62% between 1972 and 1995. During this same period, the percentage of 25- to 29- year old high school graduates who had completed 4 or more years of college rose from 24% to 28%.”

(National Center for Education Statistics)

There is not much value to either diploma if the person does not grasp the knowledge or skill. A college education has a value beyond monetary terms. A college education can open the doors of opportunities for anyone willing to take advantage of that opportunity. High school cannot offer the same opportunity. A person can learn a lot about life by simply being a college student. Most importantly, beyond attaining a degree, is the knowledge one can earn through attending college. The process of learning is a priceless tool that can only be enhanced by the college experience.

National Center for Education Statistics. (1997, July). Findings from The Condition of Education 1997

Postsecondary Persistence and Attainment. New Jersey: Educational Testing Services

Hines, John S. (1998, April 01). Education and Income Distribution. New York: General Internet Inc.

Moe, Terry M. and Chubb, John E. (1990) Politics Markets and America’s Schools Washington D.C. Brookings Institution

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