The case for and against college

Is a college degree worth (in future earnings) the time and money it will take? The Value of College Is: (a) Growing (b) Flat (c) Falling (d) All of the Above answers Derek Thompson in The Atlantic. He presents the case for and against college in 10 charts.

The case for college is established: The value of higher education has never been higher, period. A college degree — not only from Harvard, but from community colleges — turns out to be a better investment than stocks or homes. The fastest growing jobs in the next 10 years require an associate or bachelor’s degree, and every piece of evidence suggests that more education correlates with more income and a lower chance of unemployment.

The case against college is gaining steam: Tuition costs are rising and graduates’ incomes are flattening. Male bachelor’s-degree holders saw a nearly 10 percent decline in real pay over the last 10 years, according to recent Census figures. The U.S. has the highest college-­dropout rate in the developed world, and studies have found that college confers “exceedingly small or empirically nonexistent” gains in academic skills.

Who’s right? Well, all of these claims are true. The value of college has never been higher. But growth of the college premium has slowed, and the wages of college graduates have fallen in the last 10 years.

Follow the link to check out all the charts. For me, the most striking shows that men are doing much worse, even with a college degree, while women continue to benefit from a college education.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON October 3, 2011

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