Saturday, September 19, 2009

Is Higher Education Worth it?

Certainly here in the U.S., and across the world's developed nations, the answer is still a clear Yes.

The above image (duly lifted from The Economist) shows that in the U.S. there is an $100,000 dollar advantage to the state's coffers (even after student aid programs are taken into account) and around $165,000 dollar advantage to the individual him- or herself.

Some people have worried that there are too many college graduates, and that high supply will mean a lower demand for them from employers, but this has not been the case, so the time and money investments by a person seeking a college degree still pays off.

Also why people chose college at all is not clearly based on the calculation of these financial advantages:
Alison Wolf of King’s College London, the author of a book provocatively entitled “Does Education Matter?” says a big reason why school-leavers go to university is peer pressure. With many graduates to choose from, employers increasing turn up their noses at anyone who does not sport a degree, no matter what the job’s requirements. The result is more akin to an arms race, with everyone running to stand still, than a recipe for increasing prosperity.[1]
Finally, higher education is always a good way to ride-out times of unemployment and recession, because when the economy returns, graduates are best placed to enter the marketplace with the appropriately acquired technical skills. Of course, as a college professor, it is both prudent and enjoyable for me to purport such analysis.



[image] The Economist (from article below)

[1] "It still pays to study" The Economist Sept. 12, 2009.

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