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University Degree Still Best Way into Good Job

In a recent study conducted by researchers from Georgetown University, the importance of obtaining a college education in securing a good job was reaffirmed. Analyzing data from over 8,000 Americans born in the early 1980s, the study found that individuals who attained a bachelor's degree by the age of 26 had a 56% chance of landing a good job by the age of 30.

The researchers defined a "good job" as one that paid at least $38,000 for individuals under the age of 45. Interestingly, the study did not focus solely on individuals who pursued higher education immediately after high school, as they were already deemed to have a higher likelihood of securing good jobs. Instead, the researchers explored alternative pathways for those who did not immediately pursue a college degree after high school, aiming to identify strategies to increase their chances of obtaining good jobs.

The findings indicated that even commencing a bachelor's degree by the age of 22 increased the probability of attaining a good job by 16 percentage points. This suggests that pursuing higher education, even if one is slightly delayed, can significantly enhance employment prospects.

Despite this compelling evidence, a separate survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal revealed that over half of the respondents believed that the cost of a four-year degree outweighed its benefits. Concerns were raised about the lack of specific job skills upon graduation and the accumulation of substantial student debt.

According to US News, the average cost of attending an American university for the academic year ending in summer 2023 ranged from approximately $10,000 for public institutions to nearly $40,000 for private schools. Zach Mabel, one of the Georgetown report's authors, acknowledged that while pursuing higher education remains advantageous, the financial risks associated with it have reached unprecedented levels.

Overall, the research underscores the enduring value of a college education in securing good jobs. Despite concerns regarding cost and skills mismatch, obtaining a bachelor's degree or commencing higher education by a certain age significantly improves one's chances of obtaining a well-paying and fulfilling career.


What are your thoughts on the findings of this study?

Do you believe having a university degree is essential to landing a good job?

Did you go to university? If so, is your career related to what you studied?

How does the cost of university in the US compare to your country?

Do people typically take on a lot of debt to study in your country?

Do most people in your country go to university after finishing high school? What advice would you give to someone who's about to start university?

Do you know any successful people who didn't go to university? If you could study anything without worrying about job prospects, what would you choose?

Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. — B.F. Skinner. What do you make of this statement?


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