Benefits of a College Degree!

Dear Commons Community,

We have seen many articles and studies on the benefits of a college degree. David Leonhardt provides a new spin on this issue in his column in today’s NY Times. In response to recent popular notions that high school graduates should consider carefully whether they will be better off going to college, Leonhardt referring to data from the Center for on Education and the Work Force at Georgetown University and from The Hamilton Project, a research group affiliated with the Brookings Institution, makes the case that college not only pays off but that it is a better investment than many other alternatives (see graphs). It was surprising especially to see that an associate’s degree is one of the best investments that an individual can make, however, the point is made by Leonhardt that tuition for most community colleges tends to be rather low and hence a high return on investment. Another interesting finding is that a bachelor’s degree pays off even for jobs that don’t require one such cashiers, hairdressers, and dental hygienists. One of the insightful quotes is from David Autor, an M.I.T. economist who states:

“Sending more young Americans to college is not a panacea….Not sending them would be a disaster”


(Click to Enlarge) Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University

(Click to Enlarge) The Hamilton Project

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