Earning Degrees Means Earning More Money

By Kevin Kelly

Anyone pursuing a college degree can expect, on average, a more financially rewarding career than his or her peers who forgo this journey.

Northeastern University in a June 2020 article titled “Average Salary by Education Level” pulled data from BLS showing those with an A.A. earn $46,124 a year, those with a bachelor’s earn $64,896 and those with a master’s earn $77,844.

According to a study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics a person with only an associate degree will amass, on average, $320,000 more than a person with only a high school diploma, through a typical 40-year work period. Yearly, this translates to an increase of over $8,000 and also decreases unemployment by 1%

College of Southern Nevada communication major Onur Hodel mentions, “Employers will see that I’ve shown dedication in investing my time to build the skills needed for my respective field.”

According to the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, bachelor’s degree holders are 3.5 times less likely to experience poverty, and typically work in positions that offer a better suite of fringe benefits. For example, they are 47% more likely to have health insurance through their professions, and their employers contribute a whopping 74% more to their health coverages, when compared to those with only high school diplomas. 

Based on a 2021 survey completed by the Pew Research Center these benefits are being felt and considerably improving many aspects of life for those who graduate from college. Most college graduates totaling 79% found their experiences to be extremely or very useful when it came to helping them grow personally and intellectually, 70% said it helped increase their career opportunities and 65% said they gained skills and knowledge that can be helpful in the workplace. 

Though there is a high cost to attending college, most students see the value.

Ana Martinez, CSN student, says the necessity of taking on debt in the short-term is not getting in the way of the long-term monetary reward. “I do feel like (the financial benefit) outweighs the potential struggle of being in debt.”

Beyond the promise of a wealthier future, family expectations and the personal quest for upward mobility are motivating factors for CSN criminal justice major Kevin Suriano. “Most of my family members only finished either middle school or high school and my parents came into this country to give their kids a better life. It motivates me knowing that I can better my life and theirs too by succeeding in pursuing my degree.”

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