16% of workers with high school diplomas and 28% with
Washington, DC, October 7, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Workers with higher levels of education tend to earn more than those with less education, but this is not always the case. Income depends on many factors besides education, including age, field of study, occupation, gender, race and ethnicity and location, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW). The College Reward: More Education Doesn’t Always Mean More Income finds that 16% of high school graduates, 23% of workers with a college education, and 28% of associates with an associate’s degree earn more than half of workers with a bachelor’s degree.
Lifetime earnings generally increase with each additional level of education. The lifetime earnings of a full-time, full-year worker with a high school diploma are $ 1.6 million, while those with an associate’s degree earn $ 2 million. However, at least a quarter of high school graduates earn more than an associate’s degree holder. Bachelors with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $ 2.8 million over their career, 75% more than if they had only a high school diploma. Masters graduates earn an average of $ 3.2 million over their lifetime, while doctoral graduates earn $ 4 million and professional degree holders earn $ 4.7 million. However, a quarter of workers with a bachelor’s degree earn more than half of workers with a master’s or doctorate. Earnings differentials by level of education tend to widen with age, as the earnings of more educated workers increase more dramatically.
“More education doesn’t always earn you more money,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, IA director and lead author of the report. “There is a lot of variation in income related to field of study, occupation and other factors. “
Workers in some well-paid fields may earn as much or more than workers with a higher education level in all fields. Those with a bachelor’s degree in architecture and engineering have median lifetime earnings of $ 3.8 million, well above the median of $ 3.2 million for all with a master’s degree. Likewise, an associate’s degree holder in a computer science and mathematics profession has a median lifetime income of $ 2.8 million, the same as the median lifetime income for all bachelor’s degree holders. .
Gender differences in income persist at all levels of education. While women with an associate’s degree earn an average of $ 1.8 over their lifetime, men earn $ 2.3 million. Among workers with a bachelor’s degree, women have median lifetime earnings of $ 2.4 million, compared to $ 3.3 million for men.
Income models also differ by race and ethnicity. While white workers have the highest median lifetime earnings among racial and ethnic groups at lower education levels, Asian workers have higher earnings at the master’s level. At the associate degree level, white workers earn an average of $ 2.1 million, compared to $ 2 million for Asian workers, $ 1.9 million for Latino workers, and $ 1.7 million for Latin workers. black workers. At the bachelor’s level, white workers earn an average of $ 2.9 million, compared to $ 2.9 million for Asian workers and $ 2.3 million for black and Latino workers.
Lifetime earnings (adjusted for cost of living) also vary by location among workers with the same level of education. For workers with a high school diploma, median earnings are highest in Wyoming and Alaska ($ 2 million) and North Dakota ($ 1.9 million). The District of Columbia, Connecticut, Virginia, and Maryland are the highest-paying places for bachelor’s and master’s degrees, with median lifetime incomes above $ 3 million for those with a bachelor’s degree. bachelor’s degree and $ 3.5 million for master’s degree holders.
“Students need professional advice on the economic outcomes of academic and career paths before making one of the biggest decisions of their lives,” said Ban Cheah, author of the report and IA research professor and economist. main.
Other key findings:
- While women with a high school diploma earn an average of $ 1.3 million over their lifetime, men earn $ 1.8 million. At the master’s level, women earn $ 2.8 million, compared to $ 3.9 million for men.
- Among high school graduates, white workers earn an average of $ 1.7 million, compared to $ 1.4 million for Asian, black and Latino workers. At the master’s level, Asian workers earn $ 4 million, compared to $ 3.2 million for white workers, $ 3 million for Latino workers, and $ 2.7 million for black workers.
- The majors with the highest median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders are architecture and engineering ($ 3.8 million); computers, statistics and mathematics ($ 3.6 million); and businesses ($ 3 million).
- Computer science and mathematics, health practice, architecture and engineering are the highest paying professions at all levels of education.
To view the full report and data visualizations, visit cew.georgetown.edu/collegepayoff2021.
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) is an independent, not-for-profit research and policy institute that studies the links between individual goals, education and training programs, and career paths. CEW is affiliated with Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. For more information, visit cew.georgetown.edu. Follow CEW on Twitter @GeorgetownCEW, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Medium.