The Value of Continuing Education

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You probably heard it as a kid, “the more you know, the better you’ll do” or some variation of that. Basically, it was a way of saying that you should keep learning because it will probably pay off. In fact, there is a new study that continuing education could actually pay off in terms of a salary increase.

The 2013 Education Pays report from the College Board backs up a 2010 report that many questioned. Critics of the 2010 report said that it promised too much in earnings and was overpopulating colleges with falsities about how your education will change your income. To respond to the criticism, the new report showed a more in-depth look into their studies and updated results.

First, the report showed that lifetime earnings, based on working full-time for 40 years, improved by 65 percent from a high school diploma to a Bachelor’ degree. A Master’s degree was 96 percent higher than a high school diploma alone. This increase was further accentuated by showing that an average full-time employee with a Bachelor’s degree, 25 years old and older, annually earned approximately $21,000 more than a high school graduate. An Associate’s degree also showed a value of over $9,000 more in salary.

These shifts in income could make a huge difference for the average American and his or her family in how they live. The College Board believes this, stating, “. . . on average and for most students, college is an excellent financial investment.”

Based on the study, many would agree that education is a good investment. But even if you don’t, another study shows that Americans could use a little more knowledge as a whole. US adults lag behind other countries in math, technology, and literacy. Our advantage as a leading country in education is slipping, and we don’t want it to fall any further.

So for whatever reason you want to pursue higher education, I recommend you go for it. I haven’t seen many studies saying that college education hurts the population as a whole. Have you?

Written by: Travis Taggart
Travis is a regular contributor to the Ashford University blog.

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