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College graduates fare well during tough economic times


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

There is little doubt that earning a college degree is a valuable investment in your future. However, some high school seniors may not know just how valuable a bachelor's degree can be during uncertain economic times such as those of the past few years.

A study conducted by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University and published earlier this month revealed that college graduates fare significantly better in the job market during times of recession than their less educated peers. While similar studies have been conducted in the past, the Stanford study is the first to examine graduation data from recent years, and how the Great Recession has impacted the employment prospects of graduates.

By analyzing data from before, during and after the Great Recession of 2007-2009, researchers discovered that among individuals with only a high school diploma, employment numbers were 15 percent lower in 2011 than in 2003. In comparison, the employment rate among college graduates fell by 7 percent during the same period.

There are additional benefits to earning a college degree. A recent study published by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce revealed that college graduates earn an average of $2.3 million during their working lives. In comparison, individuals who possess only a high school diploma earn an average of $1.3 million.

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