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    Survey Says... Education Pays!

    Are you wondering if going to college or going back to school is really worth your money, effort and time? You’re not alone.

    These days, education is an investment. However, it’s important to figure out if it’s a good investment. The results of a couple of recent studies show that there are benefits to investing in higher education.

    • A June 2011 study by The Hamilton Project compares the return of different investments. Investments used in the study include stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, and a college education. According to the study, an investment in an associate degree (20 percent) or a bachelor’s degree (15 percent) offers a better return than the other investments (7 percent and below).
    • An August 2011 study by The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce titled, “The College Payoff,” also shows how more education can mean more money in the long run.  Working in certain career fields offers more income in general, but according to the study, the more education you have in your field, the more income you have the chance to make in your lifetime.

    In a New York Times article titled, “Even for Cashiers, College Pays Off,” contributor David Leonhart writes about the value of a college education:

    “Even construction workers, police officers, plumbers, retail salespeople and secretaries, among others, make significantly more with a degree than without one. Why? Education helps people do higher-skilled work, get jobs with better-paying companies, or open their own businesses.”

    Leonhart also talks about the gap between how much money people with only a high school diploma makes compared to how much money those with a college degree make. “Three decades ago, full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree made 40 percent more than those with only a high-school diploma,” he writes. “Last year, the gap reached 83 percent.” This further shows that more education you have, the more money you make.

    In an earlier blog,  we shared the results of a May 2011 PEW survey that questioned whether or not college is a good investment. Although college is expensive, 86 percent of the people surveyed who had graduated from college said that is was a good investment, compared to only 6 percent who said it wasn’t.


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