In recent years, high student debt, a shaky labor force, and low career fulfillment have contributed to higher education losing its luster among younger generations. A new report is showing that a college degree is still worth pursuing.
A new analysis from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce reinforces what traditional economists have touted for years: earning a bachelor’s degree is a valuable move in securing a viable financial future. Namely, in getting a good job.
That is defined as a role that pays $38,000 in 2020 dollars for workers younger than 45 and at least $49,000 for workers older than 45. 30-year-olds earned a median $57,000 annual salary.
“There are 4.8 million high school graduates who are academically prepared to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program, yet they aren’t expected to do so before turning 22,” Georgetown writes. “Moving these individuals onto the bachelor’s degree pathway, they add, could result in 765,000 more people with good jobs by the time they turn 30.”
The report also pointed out that while degrees are the best route to landing a high-paying job, skills-based experiences are still valuable as well.
As Fortune points out in an analysis of the report, Pennsylvania governor Josh Shapiro required hiring managers in state government jobs to prioritize experience over education level and removed college degree requirements from 92% Commonwealth jobs.
“There are many different pathways to success, whether it’s through on the job training, an apprenticeship, vocational education, or college,” Shapiro said in his inaugural address. “My view is, if you’re qualified for the job, then you should get the job here in Pennsylvania.”