Education pays, but how much?

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education released a policy brief it calls “College Still Pays” stating that 56 percent of Kentucky’s jobs will require at least some college experience in the year 2020.

Questions about loan debt, tuition costs increasing, and recent graduates without jobs led the CPE to look at long term returns on college certificates and degrees.  While the price of college can be steep, graduates in the state are making more money and have more jobs to choose from than those without a college degree.  Over the course of a 40-year career, Kentuckians with bachelor’s degrees are projected to earn $879,000 more than high school graduates. Those with a graduate degree could earn as much as $1.34 million more in that time. 

The council believes that every person should have a high school degree or GED, but states that they are twice as likely to be unemployed as someone with a bachelor’s degree.  It is also noted that incomes for those with even some college experience, but no degree, are still 15 percent higher in Kentucky than for those with only a high school diploma. 

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