The value of a college degree … and, the drag of not having one.

Here’s a chart that caught my eye re: the value of a college degree …

Since the mid-60s, the real wages of a worker holding a bachelor’s degree have increased by about 40%.

The increase for workers with a graduate degree is even greater …. almost 90%

That sounds formidable, but even it is only about 1.3% per annum.




Dragging the numbers down further …

During the same period, real wages for high school grads only increased about 15% … about 1/4% per annum.

And, real wages for workers without a high school degree stayed flat … or arguably, fell.

Of course, those small percentage differences in growth rates have a dramatic compounding effect …


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 the median worker with a bachelor’s degree (and no advanced degree) earned $69,260, compared with $34,540 for the median worker with only a high school diploma.

Income by level of education

Over a lifetime, that difference accumulates a whopping $1.5 million.



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