Education and Earning Potential

Education and Earning Potential

Over the last couple of years there have been questions on whether having a higher education successfully correlates to having a higher earning potential in life. Traditionally it has been touted that acquiring a higher education beyond a high school diploma is necessary to see you full earning potential. However as technology rapidly develops and the ability to get education is becoming more accessible, people all over are evaluating if this is still the case. Although the unemployment rate for those with a high school education is declining, studies have found that in most instances a degree is still needed to excel in the work place.


According to studies conducted by the First American organization, millennials are by many measures the most educated generation we’ve ever had. About 40 percent of millennials between the ages of 25 and 37 have a bachelor’s or higher degree. 30 percent of Gen X has obtained a higher education compared the generation before them, only 15 percent obtained a higher education.



There are major variations in earnings for life by educational achievement. Over a lifetime, the Social Security Administration estimates that men with a bachelor’s degree receive $900,000 more than men with a high school diploma. It’s reported that women with a bachelor’s degree earn $630,000 more than women with a high school degree. People with a graduate degree earn an average of $1.5 million more than graduates of high school, while women with graduate degree receive a mere $1.1 million.

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Education is becoming more widespread as many online-only colleges and programs have become a trend. Consequently, online-only schools have become a cheaper, more affordable option for people who may not have the money to live on a campus or for older Americans who are already established in the workforce looking to further their education. In addition, people are turning to certification programs to increase their salaries, add skills to their technical toolboxes and enhance their job prospects. Technical degree preparation programs and courses can offer an ideal way to obtain a certification or retool to change their job fields. Those working in the  technical fields such as Computer Information, Information Technology, and Cyber Security are placing more emphasis on certificates instead of degrees.


Nevertheless, obstacles exist for young adults interested in college attendance, particularly those from low-income backgrounds. There are major disparities in affordability among all but the wealthiest students at state flagship universities, a new Institute among Higher Education Policy study showed.

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In summary, most research and reports have shown the significance of having a higher education to further one’s career and earning ability over their lifetime. Although we have more wide-spread access to education, it has not lessened the value of  having a higher education. Learning a new skill or a new trade will always push your resume further to the top of the pile in most fields verses not having one. If you are looking to speak to someone about maximizing your earning potential speak with one of our dedicated SJK Wealth Management Advisors today.