Study: College degree can earn you an extra $1 million

lifetime earnings

by Jeff Goldman | August 5, 2011



According to a study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the value of a college degree is increasing--people with a bachelor's degree now make 84 percent more over a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma, up from 75 percent in 1999.

Bachelor's degree holders, the study found, can now expect median lifetime earnings approaching $2.3 million, while those with only a high school diploma average approximately $1.3 million, which translates to just over $15 per hour.

"The report also finds … that the wage gap between men and women remains even among those with similar levels of educational attainment in the same occupations," writes The New York Times' Motoko Rich. "On average, women who work full time earn 25 percent less than men."

Expected lifetime earnings by educational attainment are as follows:

  • High school dropout: $973,000
  • High school graduate: $1.3 million
  • Some college but no degree: $1.5 million
  • Associate's degree holder: $1.7 million
  • Bachelor's degree holder: $2.3 million
  • Master's degree holder: $2.7 million
  • Doctoral degree holder: $3.3 million
  • Professional degree holder: $3.6 million

"On average, people with more education and higher attainment make more than people with less education," Center director and report co-author Anthony P. Carnevale said in a statement. "But major and occupation matter just as much as degree level. For example, 28 percent of people with an Associate's degree make at least as much as the average Bachelor's degree holder--mostly due to occupational choice."

That's true at several levels of educational attainment, according to the study:

  • 31 percent of high school dropouts earn more than the median earnings of workers with high school diplomas
  • 37 percent of those with a high school diploma make more than the median earnings of workers with some college/no degree
  • 42 percent of people with some college/no degree earn more than the median earnings of workers with an Associate's degree
  • 40 percent of people with a Bachelor's degree earn more than the median of workers with a Master's degree
  • 36 percent of people with a Master's degree make more than the median of workers with a Doctoral degree
  • 37 percent of people with a Doctoral degree make more than the median of workers with a Professional degree

A separate study by the Center at Georgetown estimated that by 2018, 63 percent of U.S. jobs will require some form of postsecondary education or training--but today, only about 41 percent of adults have a college degree in America.

For related news and other information from Schools.com, see:

Read More [+]

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring school options talking to our staff? Call toll free now: 1.855.816.4004
Call toll free now
Matching School Ads
Program
  • All
  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering & Construction
  • Health
  • Hospitality & Culinary
  • Law & Criminal Justice
  • Liberal Arts & Humanities
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • Technology & IT
  • Vocational
Degree/Diploma Offered
  • All
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Certificate Program
  • Coursework Program
  • Diploma Program
  • Doctoral Program
  • Master Degree
Location Type

Both

Change
  • Both
  • Online
  • Campus
Zip/Postal Code
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef, Project Runway.
  • A team of about 4,000 faculty members are focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Academic programs available in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary
  • Program Coordinators work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
  • Phoenix Career Services™ help students find careers that match their interests & map out a personalized career plan.
  • Average class size is 14 students.
  • Faculty members average 16 years of experience in their field.
  • Mentorships & networking opportunities available through Alumni Association of 800,000+ graduates. 
  • Students & alumni can access job posts from top corporations, including AT&T, Hitachi & MGM Resorts.
  • Flexible start date and class schedules.
  • 100+ locations and online options.
  • Courses emphasize laboratory skills and clinical externship experiences. 
  • All training is provided by healthcare faculties who have demonstrated experience and excellence in teaching and as well as necessary credentials in their fields. 
  • Class size is limited to an average of eight to twenty students per instructor.
  • Founded in New Jersey in February of 2006, the school is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)  and has been approved by the U.S. Dept. of Education and Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
  • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum, it is the largest independent dog training company in the United States.
  • As of May 2013, the total student body was 24,485
  • Provides dog obedience training classes in all Petco stores in the U.S. and Petcetera Warehouse stores in Canada. 
  • Is part of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any course offered by Animal Behavior College.
  • In a university-sponsored survey, 88% of students report Strayer as having a substantial impact on meeting their professional goals. 
  • 65,000+ working adult graduates so far.
  • Founded in 1892 in Baltimore, Maryland. 
  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 
  • Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, with 100 campus locations as well as online programs.
  • Online students are full-fledged Sun Devils, pursuing the same degree as campus students. 
  • In the top 50 online bachelor’s programs, according to U.S. News &World Report.
  • Ranked #2 online MBA in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Online faculty same as campus faculty. 
  • Their Quality Matters (QM) peer-review process ensures that online courses include meaningful interaction between instructors and students. 
  • Offer degrees in business, IT, master's in healthcare innovation, & more.
  • Providing accredited online courses and degree programs since 1987.
  • Programs mesh real-world solutions with student’s education needs.
  • Offers more than 100 accredited undergraduate and graduate programs in medical, computer, paralegal studies, and more. 
  • Program and course tuition is all-inclusive: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
  • Students can customize monthly payments to fit their budgets. 
  • Alumni cam enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
Matching School Ads

About the Author

Jeff Goldman is a freelance journalist based in Los Angeles.