College Degree’s Changing Value

As an update to a recent post, several recent studies show a growing number of children who earned less education than their parents, reversing the trend since 1876.  Does this current trend mean a decrease in the living standard of Americans overall, since currently people with bachelor’s degrees earn more over their lifetime, than those with a high school diploma?

Living standards in the long term are already being affected for recent college graduates, as a degree is no guarantee of employment.  A study reported by the Associated Press revealed 53.8% of college graduates under 25 are underemployed or jobless.   However, major choice can influence graduates job and earning potential.

Not all bachelor’s degrees are the same. While going to college is undoubtedly a wise decision, what you take while you’re there matters a lot, too.

Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce  (Wall Street Journal, 4/26/2012)

Similarly, future college going students will have to be even more discriminating in their major choices in order to find jobs.

According to government projections released last month, only three of the 30 occupations with the largest projected number of job openings by 2020 will require a bachelor’s degree or higher to fill the position — teachers, college professors and accountants.  (Associated Press, 4/23/2012)

For more information, see recent news in the Wall Street Journal.