News

Matching degrees to jobs adds up to much higher lifetime earnings

By Mark Schneider, Cheryl Oldham and Brandon Busteed, Tribune News Service
June 22nd, 2016

college degrees

In today’s tough job market, should college students focus on pursuing in-demand degrees?

We’ve heard that college is one of the best personal investments; that a degree is a ticket to a better job or career; and even that a bachelor’s degree is worth a million dollars in added lifetime earnings compared with a high school degree.

But we’re also aware that today’s graduates struggle to find jobs and are in such serious debt that they can’t launch their lives.

Recent graduates often wonder whether all the money and time they spent pursuing a degree was worthwhile.

Meanwhile, employers across the nation are having difficulty filling millions of jobs because of a mismatch in the skills students have and the skills employers need. As a result, we have people without jobs and jobs without people.

Discussions about the value of college need to focus on enabling students to make informed choices that lead to well-paying careers and meaningful lives. This means choosing the right college and the right major.

While students have every right to pursue their passions, they should also have information to see what their future might look like if they do.

Next page: How graduation and labor marketplace data might help


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