Friday, August 5, 2011

The Degrees We Earn and The People We Value

Today Georgetown University's Center for Education and the Workforce released their report, The College Payoff: Education, Occupations and Lifetime Earnings. For a nice overview, check-out Education Week's Guest Blogger Nora Fleming's post, More Education Leads to Higher Pay, But Not For All. Here are a few sobering highlights for those of us interested in equity and students of color.
*College degrees are increasing in value relative to high school diplomas. A college degree will earn you 84% higher earnings over  your lifetime than a high school diploma. That's up from 75% in 1999. -- When drop-out rates can exceed 50% in schools with majority students of color, we can quickly see the chilling reality behind these numbers.
*A degree can earn significantly less for African Americans and Latinos than for whites. For example, the lifetime earnings of African Americans with Masters degrees doesn't exceed the lifetime earnings of whites with Bachelor's degrees.
*Occupation matters. Depending on your professional choice an associates degree can earn more than a bachelor's degree, this is true on average 28% of the time.

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