How Important is a College Degree?

How Important is a College Degree?

January 03, 2017
Share |

At the University of Baltimore 2016 Midyear Commencement, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen shared her thoughts about the importance of college:

“Economists are not certain about many things. But we are quite certain that a college diploma or an advanced degree is a key to economic success. Those with a college degree are more likely to find a job, keep a job, have higher job satisfaction, and earn a higher salary. The advantage in earnings is large. College grads' annual earnings last year were, on average, 70 percent higher than those with only a high school diploma. Back in 1980, the difference was only 20 percent. The gap in earnings is significant only a few years after graduation – almost $18,000 a year, according to some recent data. Beyond these advantages, research also shows that a college or graduate degree typically leads to a happier, healthier, and longer life.”

There appears to be significant benefits to attending college. However, Aon Hewitt recently suggested there also may be some drawbacks, especially for students who borrow to pay for their degrees. Aon’s survey of 2,000 U.S. workers found 44 percent of Millennials, 26 percent of Gen X, and 13 percent of Baby Boomers are repaying student loans which, “…can have a long-term impact on workers' financial future.”

The survey found just 71 percent of workers with student loans were participating in employer-provided retirement plans as compared to 77 percent of workers without student loans.

LPL TRACKING# 1-568096