The Effects of Education on Earnings: “Get a College Degree and You’ll Reach Your Own ‘American Dream'”

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It’s a well-known fact that going to college will significantly improve your earnings. In the United States, 50% of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher earn more than $50,000 per year.

In contrast, only 3% of those with just high school degrees earn the same amount in comparison. It is also said that for each year spent in college, students can expect around a 3% increase in their salary over a lifetime.

With these numbers being so clear and obvious in our mind, why aren’t we all scrambling to get ourselves a college degree? The answer is simple: people have been brainwashed by “American Dream” propaganda.

Have you ever heard someone say to get a college degree and you’ll reach your own “American Dream”? If you’re like many Americans, the phrase has been incessantly drilled into your brain since elementary school. 

You’ve been told that getting a college degree will guarantee success for the rest of your life. An article published by The Atlantic cites data from various sources such as O*Net Online (a database of occupational information) and the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to show how this prediction does not always hold true. 

There are qualifications to the “American Dream,” which often requires a four-year college degree in order to be successful. Websitesetuper has some more information about the effects of education on earnings.

College Dropouts Often Go On To Achieve Greater Success

Figures from the US Census Bureau indicate that college graduates have a greater chance of achieving a lower income than their counterparts who have not completed a four-year degree. 

The national average for annual household income for college graduates in 2014 was $59,039, while for those who hadn’t completed a four-year degree it was $43,882. Citing data from other sources, it is apparent that if you have not graduated from college within the last two years then you should anticipate being in the top 20 percent of earners.

Students who end up dropping out of college do not necessarily end up at the bottom of the income bracket as they might believe. Among those who were not officially enrolled as students for the 2015-16 academic year, those who received federal financial aid averaged $10,500 in annual earnings. 

Those who were employed during that period earned an average of $17,370. Some students may have not done well in school but have gone on to be very successful through employment or entrepreneurship.

Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Yourself First

While there are many occupations that require a college degree for entry, there are also many other occupations that do not require one. It is a common myth that a college degree will guarantee a higher income regardless of what you do for a living. In addition, many employers prefer to hire college graduates over those who have only completed high school because the former group has better skills and more experience.

In 2014, about 87 percent of employers in the United States were satisfied with applicants’ knowledge of computer basics, while only 82 percent were satisfied with their knowledge of English.

Those who have not graduated from college have more access to jobs in many areas including construction, food service, and sales. Many of these jobs do not require a four-year degree in order to be successful.

What Else Should You Consider?

If you decide to pursue a career that is not dependent upon a college degree, then it is important that you are committed to your education. There are many colleges that offer vocational certificates in various career fields. 

These programs will provide you with the foundation needed in order to be successful in the field of your choice. It is also important for you to consider how much financial aid will be available when choosing a college. 

This may deter some students from pursuing their dream of getting their four-year degree because of the high costs associated with attending school.

For those who do not want to continue through college, there are many job opportunities available without the need of a college degree. In fact, more than 70 percent of workers in the U.S. do not have a bachelor’s degree or higher. 

Of that number, about 60 percent hold a high school diploma or an equivalent while about 20 percent did not finish high school. The remainder includes a two-year associate’s degree and vocational certificates.

Is A College Degree Really Necessary?

The answer depends on your goals and interests. A degree can provide you with tools that will set you up for a successful career, regardless of what you choose to do. It is important for you to consider how your skills will improve your chances of being successful regardless of the length of the education required.

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