Finding a job with a high school or college graduationLegal Law
Whether you choose to enter the job market with a high school vs. College graduation under your belt can have a very significant impact on the jobs you will be able to do and the amount of money you will be able to earn.
According to a report titled “The Big Payoff: Educational Achievement and Synthetic Estimates of Work and Personal Income,” a person with a high school degree can expect to earn an average of $ 1.2 million over the course of their working life, and a person with a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn an average of $ 2.1 million over the same time period. The report estimates that people with a master’s degree will earn an average of $ 2.5 million, people with doctoral degrees will earn an average of $ 3.4 million, and those with professional degrees will earn more, an average of $ 4.4 million.
That said, all of those figures are an average, so it doesn’t mean they’re set in stone. There are high-paying careers you could pursue with just a high school diploma. Construction contractors can make a lot of money. So can entrepreneurs, small business owners, or investors. All of those careers can be difficult, risky, and exhausting, but they offer the potential for a person to have a great life without a college degree.
Then there are the well-paying careers that require a two-year technical education, such as plumbing, electrician work, or nursing. Those careers pay pretty well and offer opportunities for advancement and entrepreneurship.
On the other hand, there are many majors that require a bachelor’s degree (or higher) that don’t pay very well. To be a teacher, social worker, or public interest attorney, you almost always need a higher degree. However, these professions do not offer huge financial rewards.
When you are considering going to college in terms of how it will help you earn more money, you need to think about what kind of job you want. If your dream is to become a general contractor, you’d better get construction experience, learning skills on the job rather than in a classroom. Or if your goal is to make big money with just a bachelor’s degree, you may not want to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English, sociology, or philosophy. Choose a more financially rewarding course of study like Engineering or Accounting.
In general, we encourage high school graduates to go to college. A college degree is considered the traditional path to success. As noted earlier in this article, general financial trends support that notion.
However, it is essential that all people do what is in their best interest. Sometimes opportunities open up when you least expect them. And other times, the most obvious path to financial success is less rewarding. We know that people with advanced degrees earn more money, but these degrees take time and money to obtain. People spend years of their life and go into enormous debt to obtain these titles. Therefore, they can earn more money, but they will owe a significant part of that money.
Make sure you know what you want. Have a realistic idea of how to get there and do it.