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Jul 03 2016
by Jenna Ciccotelli

New Study Finds College is Actually Worth It

By Jenna Ciccotelli - Jul 03 2016
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For the first time in history, people with college degrees make up a larger portion of the work force than those without, according to a new study released by Georgetown University.

This is especially evident in the United States' recovery from 2008's Great Recession. The study shows that of the 11.6 million jobs created after the recession, 11.5 million of those have gone to workers with a college degree, according to the Chicago Tribune. Workers with at least a bachelor's degree make up 36 percent of the work force, compared to those with a high school diploma who make up less than 34 percent. This number is down 5 percent from 2007, before the economy began to crash. 

The study shows that college graduates have incomes that average 80 percent more than those of high school graduates over the course of their lifetimes. This creates a divide within the country, according to Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce and author of the study. Carnevale did not only blame the recession for the domination of college graduates in the workforce. He explained to the Chicago Tribune that many jobs today "require more elaborate skills than they once did." 

According to the study, the number of jobs for workers with an associate degree or some college has increased by 47 percent since 1989, while the number of jobs for people with bachelor's degrees or higher has doubled. However, jobs for workers with high school diplomas or less declined by 13 percent over the same period, with a loss of 7.3 million jobs.

Carnevale quickly shut down any opponents of a college education, telling the Chicago Tribune:

Income data makes it clear that if you don't go to college, you will do a lot worse.

So, for those of you going into college or are in college that might be questioning why you are putting yourself through more schooling, this study should give you some peace of mind and encouragement.

Lead Image Credit: Baim Hanif via Unsplash

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Jenna Ciccotelli - Northeastern University

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