Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Wages, employment tied to higher education

Posted: Thursday, March 9, 2017

Northeast Indiana residents whose highest educational attainment is a high school degree or the equivalent stand to earn at least half a million dollars more during the course of their career than those who do not complete high school, according to a March labor market information report issued by Northeast Indiana Works.

The report, based on Economic Modeling Specialists International data, supports the long-held assertion that the more education a person receives the more money they are likely to earn. Using current median annual wages tied to typical educational achievement and projecting those wages over a span of 40 years, a person with just a high school degree or the equivalent will earn $532,480 more than a person with no high school degree.

The income boost continues the more education one receives after high school: No high school degree, $895,240; High school degree or the equivalent, $1,427,720; Associate’s Degree, $1,854,520; Bachelor’s Degree, $2,387,840; Master’s Degree, $2,416,120 and Doctorate Degree, $3,923,720.

“While it is true it is unlikely a person will be at the median wage level throughout their career, the analysis clearly demonstrates the importance of postsecondary educational achievement,” said Edmond O’Neal, president of Northeast Indiana Works.

Moreover, the more education one receives, the more likely they are to be employed. For instance, 92.8 percent of people with a high school degree or the equivalent in northeast Indiana are employed in the civilian labor force compared to 97 percent of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Just 87.7 percent of people without a high school degree are employed.

Northeast Indiana, according to the analysis, largely exceeds the state and nation in employment tied to educational achievement. For instance, 94 percent of those in northeast Indiana with some college or an associate’s degree are employed in the civilian labor force, compared to 93.5 percent for the state and 92.2 percent for the nation.