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The Value of Higher Education - Research Paper Example

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The Value of Higher Education Author Institution Abstract This report shows a progression of students over the years who move on to higher education and the ranges of salaries that are attainable between high school students and different levels of degree holders in different professions…
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The Value of Higher Education

What is definitely agreed on is that higher education is very important in being able to get a job that pays a worker well enough to maintain a home, family and the necessities of living that go along with that. As we grow from childhood, our parents, or other authoritative adults, tell us that the way to succeed in life is go to school, go to college after high school, then get a good job after graduation. Attending college is commonly perceived as the only way to getting a good job that pays enough to have a nice home, car, and support a family. In 2000, 84 percent of American adults over 25 years of age had completed high school, and 26 percent had attained at least a bachelor’s degree. Those numbers were an all-time high score compared to 1975, where only 63 percent of adults had graduated high school, with only 14 percent graduating college (Day, 2002). Research showed that in the years between 1997 and 1999, a non-high school graduate could expect to make no more than $23, 400 in a full-time job per year, whereas a college graduate could make $52,200 and a doctoral degree could bring in $89,400 or more (Day, 2002). What was also interesting to note was the charting results of comparison salaries between men and women with bachelor degrees who basically start out at almost the same salary in similar jobs in the early 20-something age group. In the later ages, women tend to lag behind in salary increases, most likely due to having children and being off work, moving to accommodate a husband getting a better job elsewhere, or just having a degree that doesn’t address the current job market needs (CPS, 2002). Moving forward to the latest report, published in 2012, accommodating survey information from 1984 compared to 2009, the numbers show that almost twice as many sampling respondents have attained a vocational certification, associate’s degree and higher. What was most glaring however, was to see that the numbers had dropped from 60,000 high school graduates in 1984 to 57,8880 in 2009 (Ewert, 2012). With a larger population growth, this means that fewer teenagers are actually graduating from high school, leaving a larger labor force in the population that does not have a higher level of education. For those that went on to college, the greatest amount of bachelor degrees were awarded in the fields of business, with close runner up degrees in education, engineering, health care, liberal arts and humanities, and natural sciences. Advanced degrees attained were in education (as the highest rate), business, law, medicine, with nursing/public health and natural sciences running neck in neck in the fifth position. In vocational certificates, the highest is in health care, with business/office a close second. Auto mechanics came next, with cosmetology, computer trades and construction trades in the third, fourth and fifth ranking positions (Ewert, 2012). What must be taken into consideration is the change in population sampling from 1984 and an upgraded survey to a different sampling group in 2009. The labor market and its current needs are also reflective of what fields student get degrees in, fully expecting to get jobs in that field after graduation, get on-the-job experience and then go for an advanced degree in the same field. What is not calculated into this path of development is how the job market in, say, the ... Read More
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