There’s no question a college education will take a bite out of your wallet. As costs have gone up, many students and their parents have wondered if a college diploma is really worth it. The 2014 Pew Research Center survey suggests that it is.
The study found that young adults ages 25-32 with college degrees earn about $45,500 a year, approximately $17,500 more than workers who only have a high school diploma. In addition, a 2012 study from the Georgetown University Center on Education found adults with a bachelor’s degree earned more as they got older, on average 25% more than their less educated counterparts who had been on the job for 20 years or more.
College grads can expect to earn about $2.3 million during their lifetimes, a figure that is 74% more than workers with just a high school diploma. Along with higher earning potential, the March 2014 unemployment rate for college graduates age 25 and older was 3.4%, while the rate for workers with only a high school education was 6.3%.
“Majors in engineering, math, and science typically have an easier time finding jobs and are offered higher starting salaries than college grads with degrees in arts and humanities,” the Northwestern MutualVoice Team wrote in an article for Forbes. “However, regardless of major, 91% of college grads overall and 88% of millennials say that college has been, or will be, worth the investment.”