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How Much Do College Degrees Impact Financial Success?

Topics: Pay Equity

We’ve all read the headlines. College is expensive, and it’s only getting worse. Due to ever-dwindling state funding and resources, students and their families are having to pay more out of pocket than previous generations ever had to. Long gone are the days when students could support themselves – covering tuition, fees and housing – with just a part-time job. Subsequently, students are taking on debt in unprecedented amounts.

As the cost of college is become greater. Student loan debt is reaching astronomical heights. This massive debt is having a huge impact on families and the greater economy. A whole generation of recent college grads is unable to pursue the American dream of owning a home. So dire is the situation that the topic has become fodder for senators and presidential candidates.

These costs are causing students and parents to consider whether or not a traditional college degree is worth the cost and effort. Like any commodity, customers, i.e. students and parents who are footing the bill, are pondering whether or not college is worth the investment.

Concurrently, the business community is also beginning to question the value of college. Some companies, such as tech giants Apple and Google, have gone so far as to waive the college degree requirement.

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So, is college worth it? Well, it depends.

There are many factors to consider. On one hand, college offers an invaluable growth experience. Lately there has been a trend in academia towards coursework evolving to include an emphasis on project-based teamwork.

There is also a social networking aspect to college. Many close ties are forged during those formative years. Those relationships become even more valuable over time as students join extensive alumni networks.

Of course, there are many who have already decided that college is the right path. For them, the question then becomes which college, and which field of study? Since college is a substantial financial investment, students and parents may want to know what their average potential mid-career earnings could be.

To help answer that question, PayScale publishes the annual College Salary Report. The 2019 edition has just been released. It’s based on a comprehensive, continuously growing database. This year, the rankings come from the alumni salary data of 3.5 million respondents, representing more than 4,000 colleges and universities across the U.S.

The data will help you research schools, majors and careers. You can use this information to help you discover which fields of study offer the most income potential, as well which are most transferable to different career paths.

Visit PayScale’s College Salary Report to learn more.


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