Why an education is important (not just more money)

As we learned in class today, each year of school adds 10% to your income. Here is another benefit to school.

From the WSJ:

The unemployment rate for all 45 to 54-year-olds, for example, was 8.4% in February — below the national average.

Education level February Unemployment Rate January Unemployment Rate
Less than a high school diploma 17.9% 17.6%
High school graduates 11.9% 11.5%
Associate Degree 6.6% 7.3%
Bachelor’s degree 5.9% 5.8%
Master’s degree 4.2% 4.4%
Doctoral degree 1.2% 1.9%
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38 Responses to “Why an education is important (not just more money)”


  1. 1 Tyler Oga March 6, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    Wow, those stats really tell you a lot as to what you should be expecting based on how far you want to take your education. I certainly don’t want to be apart of that 11% unemployment and just finish with my HS diploma. People that have no college degree usually live paycheck to paycheck, and that definitely doesn’t match what I want to accomplish in my career. Even with such tough job competition, I know that if I apply myself and get that degree that I’m looking for, then the better chance I have of landing not just a job, but a career.

  2. 2 Amanda Herrera March 7, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    When we learned about this in class I understood there was a difference, but after reading this article i understand it more. I like how it breaks it down by each level of education. It also made me consider more if i want to get my Masters degree after i finish St. Mary’s. I have briefly thought about it but now i think i will consider it more. Even though there is only about a 1.5% difference from Bachelors to Masters degree for me i think it still makes a difference. This decision will also be based on how the economy is doing when i get done and if i get any god job offers.

  3. 3 Anna Hernandez March 7, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Not surprised by the revealed statistics. Although not fun to earn, a college degree can be very gratifying when the monetary rewards and job opportunities come ranking in. A recent college graduate myself, I quickly came to realize that a Bachelor’s degree is not enough for today’s job field. Almost anyone can earn a Bachelor’s degree and young adults realize this; thus, many of them, including myself, are going back to school to earn a Master’s or greater. At my current employer, I see most of the individuals who are being involuntary terminated are people who did not earn a Bachelor’s degree after high school. Of course, there are people who have Bacherlor’s and Master’s degrees being laid off, but the number is significantly less compared to the number of people without post-secondary school degrees.

  4. 4 Michelle Benton March 8, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Pretty cool to see the percentages of unemployment broken down like this. It really does make a difference as to how much school you have. Like Anna said, most times they will start getting rid of less qualified people first in tough times.

  5. 5 Christopher Henderson (101) March 8, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    I agree with Anna, this has definitely given me more drive to go further with my education, not just stop at a Bachelor’s degree. But it bothers me that if education is so important to getting and maintaining a job, then why does the department of unemployment not want you to go to school? When my sister filed for unemployment about a month ago after her store closed, she had a phone interview. In this interview the woman asked if she was a student, my sister said yes, and the woman said that could be a problem. If my sister wasn’t willing to DROP a class to get a job, that could affect her elligiablity. What she said next was shocking, she said that the government doesn’t want you to go to school, they want you to work. That doesn’t make sense to me. But this study does. Makes me wonder if this woman really knew what she was talking about. There is clearly a trend in this data.

  6. 6 Amanda Chow March 9, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    Education in general has a lot of benefits but as we can see the higher the education a person has the less chance they will ever see unemployment. Everyone if they have the chance should keep going to school and bettering themselves. For it not only benefits themselves, but it benefits the whole economy. My father always tells me that he wants me to go and get my masters degree after i finish my undergraduate courses, but I have been a little hesitate. Now I am really reconsidering my father’s offer because the economy has seen a lot of hard job losses, and I need to stay competitive so I can get a job later on and keep it.

  7. 7 Azusa Mori March 9, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    Now it is easy to see that getting higher education is a successful key to be able to get a job. There is no much difference in unemployment rate between January and February however, the gap between people with less than a high school diploma and people with doctoral degree is very big.But the reality is many people cannot have access to go to college even when they want to because of financial problems. So that chart is showing us harsh reality.

  8. 8 Ruby S. March 11, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    This is really encouraging! Parents and teachers are always pushing you to stay in school and to continue on to get a degree in order to be able to get a job that provides you with more income, but these stats show that there is another great reason for conintuing to get an education: keeping your job.

    This is especially encouraging during the recession, this shows that having an education will help you keep the stable job you worked so hard for and not have as much stress about financial issues.

  9. 9 Nhi Ho March 11, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    The way I see education is like an insurance you purchase. The people that did not invest their money on higher education will have to face the consequences during tough economic time. However, the people that did will their college degree to depend on to stay employed. I guess the four years you spend in college is worth it. The higher your degree, the less chance you’ll be unemployed, according to statistic.

  10. 10 Matt Cardoza March 14, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    College education is crucial, no questions asked. It is so important to get a college degree because major jobs will not hire a person who does not have a four year degree. If a person walked into a job interview and handed the boss a resume with no college, he would laugh at the applicant and tell him to go home. As much as school is boring and not fun, it pays off in the end.

  11. 11 Jennifer DaRosa March 14, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    This is a great thing to see. It make me feel like all the hard times with school will be worth it in the end and even makes me think that i would want to continue my education after my initial four years of college. These statistics are very encouraging. Knowing that a higher degree will come with more job security will push more people to go to school and overall help the economy.

  12. 12 Alma Tenorio March 16, 2010 at 8:17 AM

    I believe this would’nt make sense if it was the other way around. By getting an education, you benefit yourself with increased knowledge and having somewhat of a financial stability. It would seem odd if someone with a greater amount of skill would be let go rather than someone who has not spent the time aqcuiring such skills. If some believes college isn’t for them, it surely may not be but we all have to do things we don’t want to that will benefit us in the long run.

  13. 13 Ryan Haley March 16, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    Well in our society today we are moving from an industrial society to a post-industrial society. This means that people with lower educational skills will not have as much jobs on the market for them. On the other hand people with very high degrees or more education will find that there will be an increase in jobs for people like them. My advice for people with a low educational level is going to a trade school. They are short and inexpensive, and most will help you find work after graduation.

  14. 14 kathryn koller March 16, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Ohmygoodness i love what ryan had to say. I always get worried when people with lower educational skills read these numbers they might just think they can’t do anything to succeed unless they go back to school. but we know more school just isn’t for everyone…so i don’t want them to get discouraged because there are other options for them. because i’m sure there’s plenty of trade jobs available and that are just as appreciated as say doctors…like auto mechanics…man without them i would be struggling in life trying to figure out the inner workings of a car

  15. 15 Lacey Olson March 24, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    This definitely makes me want to push on and go as far as I can with school. Higher education equals better pay and less chance of being unemployed. Plus, now with more people going back to school because of the recession there will be even more competition in the future because more will have degrees, even more reason to stick with it.

  16. 16 mike March 25, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    Higher education is obviously the way to go to insure a future for yourself. Many can’t afford this right now with the economy, but the statistics show that even a few years past high school makes for a better hiring candidate. There are always ways to improve one’s position in life and getting more education in one realm or another is going to pay off.

  17. 17 Kara Yamamoto April 2, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    I knew that with the higher education level your receive the better jobs and opportunities you will get as well. With the stats laid out in front of me, it was really encouraging to stay in school and get a higher education. Since most teachers and parents encourage you to stay in school, I understand a lot clearer why and it makes sense. A higher degree = getting/keeping your job and not having to struggle and just settle for jobs to make a living.

  18. 18 Hannah Mac Dula April 22, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    I most definitely agree with Kara. Seeing the numbers is very encouraging for me. I always wonder why my parents won’t let me have a job. They believe it is more important for me to stay in school as a full time student. From their differing experiences, these numbers do come to life. While my mother stayed in school and received her bachelor’s my father dropped out of community college in order to provide for his brothers and sister who had just immigrated from the Philippines. The salaries of their jobs are vastly different. My mother now is the breadwinner of the family. Both parents are incredibly supportive of my studies and this chart shows why. I hope this information is passed on to younger generations so they are motivated at an early age to stay in school.

  19. 19 EconConsumer April 24, 2010 at 6:53 AM

    Education is important on so many levels. Our course you gain knowledge in many fields, such as business, legal, medical, humanities, environment, sciences and math. You feel confident that when someone speaks to you understand what the heck they are talking about. Sometimes as I watch tv and listen to Congress speak. I did not understand what they were talking about it was over my head. With my education, I really understand or know where to find the information to further my knowledge. An education can prevent you from being scammed from a business or a person. Knowledge is powerful.

  20. 20 Ryan Moura April 26, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    It seems as though this is the big topic of conversation and current events now a days because you cannot really argue with numbers. I always assumed that the higher up in school you, the better job and salary you will receive, but to have the stats laid out to see why I’m struggling to balance school and baseball and eve though it can get overwhelming, its all for a higher purpose. In this day however, the temptation to make money when you can because of the lack of jobs in the market available, is a very strong one. I believe that every situation is different, but for me, it might be stressful, but a higher education just opens more doors for me in the future, and I need that for my success.

  21. 21 Evan Schlinkert May 2, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    I like to see when things are broken down into these kinds of tables it makes it a lot easier to understand where and what the problems truly are. It makes me feel good looking at this chart to know that when I graduate from college the likelihood of me being unemployed is much less then those who decided to go into the working world after college.

  22. 22 Ana Ahnen May 2, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    This is something that is very uplifting to see. It makes it easier to think that going to school for so long is worth it. I was not aware that going to school not only made a difference in income, but if you have a job in general.

  23. 23 Tiffany Hagewood May 2, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    If you’re going to get an associate’s degree, make sure it’s one that you’re going to use. I’ve never once got hired because of my education, as of yet.

    Just a little response to Anna’s comment. I don’t think that a bachelor’s degree in today’s society necessarily means that you’ll be racking in the job opportunities. Yes it will put you ahead of the individuals without a degree, but in a lot of careers years of experience are also required and internships are inevitable. I never realized until this year just how important this experience is. Just as important I’d say as a degree, and in some cases even more so. A bachelor’s degree is a great start and from the decrease in the unemployment statistics a very important step in one’s education, but it’s a guaranteed bridge to success. For me personally, putting in the experience after I graduate with my bachelors is more important than going on to study for a Masters.

  24. 24 Hyo Kim May 3, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    Yes, yet that is not the only reason, the higher education status that you have will prevent more income, too.
    Yes, this is an another case of what capitalism has led.
    Now the School is Business, too. You have to pay all that
    tutition fee to get one paper of final document, to prove that you are an educated person.

  25. 25 David Colin Sorenson May 3, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    I really like how the unemployment percentages are broken down like this. It gives new life to the unemployment rates, in my opinion. It really shows that if you put forth the effort in school and getting your degree you have a much more likely chance of getting employed. A lot of the articles that have been posted on this blog have brought new life to my eyes about the importance of an education. This article proves that if you put forth the effort in the degree you will be provided for with an almost guaranteed job/career.

  26. 26 Jessica Opperman May 3, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    I found it interesting that for every year of school your income increases by 10%. I also found it interesting to see the statistics of how much schooling you have and the connection to unemployment rate. The more schooling you have the lower your unemployment chance is.

  27. 27 Angelina Hlavaty May 4, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    Well the stats sure do show that you want to get some sort of college education if not more. The demand for more and more education has grown, especially since we hit this recession. High nope doesn’t cut it anymore. College well barely. Yet, they are still finding ways to make buget cuts on K-12 education and colleges. It is a shame. In many ways I fear they may start trying to charge public schooling just to raise us out of debt. I hope to get the most education that I can possibly fit into my little brain just so I know I am set.

  28. 28 Melissa Moylan May 6, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    High education really is important and after reading this article i can see why. Living pay check to pay check is not what i want my future to be like and this statistics presented in this article is an inspiration for me to continue my education and possibly get my masters. In this day in age i think it is important for people’s mind set to be the more educated you are the better job you will have.

  29. 29 selduhhh May 9, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    Seeing this chart it makes a HUGE difference of how far anyone wants to take their education. As Tyler said people without a college degree usually live from paycheck to paycheck. I think working college students know how this feels especially with college becoming more and more expensive. Seeing this chart gives me the inspiration to go for my Doctoral degree!

  30. 30 Floyd Aranzazu May 15, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    I guess bigger is better. My high school physics teacher keeps telling his class to get as much education as you can. More opportunities will open up if you do.

  31. 31 Colette Whitney May 17, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    I think they should stress these statistics to younger high school students along with the article about the income levels. This is proof that education comes out on top. With a college education you not only get higher incomes, but you are also more secure with your job. Education is power in this world, and the more of it you have, the more you can succeed in life. If you want a secure job, go to college, and even if you do get laid off, your chances of getting another job are much higher than those with only a high school diploma.

  32. 32 Miles Atkinson May 17, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    The statistics were very convincing to me. It made it lot easier for me to understand the article.It has also convinced me to stay in school as long as possible for not just earning a higher wage but also to get a better job.

  33. 33 Matthew Jaber May 17, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Seeing those statistics broken down into percentages is very interesting. It really shows how getting a good education is well worth the time and energy. Personally, I am now more motivated to try harder in school and it will help me prepare myself get employed.

  34. 34 Luke Napier May 17, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Education is key in determining just how financially stable our future will be. To hear these numbers is quite scary to be honest. Although right now the quality or degree of education may not effect your employment, in the long run one will benefit most of the time. This is why I have decided to attend a school like Saint Mary’s. With cuts in CSU system and jobs being harder and harder to come by, being able to stand out through degrees or internships in the business world will help one prosper greatly.

  35. 35 MunchiesMan May 17, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    i like these statistics they really make me feel like my education is gonna actually give me some type of job security which now days a lot of people cant say that. These numbers are eye opening if people knew these statistics that haven’t graduated high school, looking for jobs, i think they might consider getting there ged because the unemployment rate is crazy for people without high school diplomas. What i also found very interesting about this chart was the small difference in unemployment between people with bachelors degrees, masters, and doctrines. This is a good thing to me because i only planned on getting a bachelors degree and now i can be confident about my decision and save a bunch of money.

  36. 36 Kyle Barraclough May 18, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    This article explains the importance of a college education. In this kind of economy jobs that pay well can’t afford to hire people without a college degree, making it essential to have one. If a job applicant attended a job interview with no college experience the interviewer would immediately judge him and belittle his chance to be hired. As much as school is boring and not fun, it pays off in the end.

  37. 37 Nick Pasquale May 18, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    A college degree will get you more money, but it will also give you much lower chance of being jobless. the unemployment percentage of the person with a Bachelors degree is 10% lower than that of a high shcool diploma.

  38. 38 Blanca Cerda May 19, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    This article really demonstrates why it is so important to obtain a college degree. The higher level of education that you acheive, the more you’re going to get paid. This is why many people ar going to college. People want to be sure that they will have a job.


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