In my first post, I discussed some of the return on investment that an individual receives when they complete a Bachelor’s degree versus those individuals that have stopped their education at the point of completing a high school diploma. We saw some quick stats from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics about earning potential based on education level. In this post we are going to take a quick look at how those that have earned a Bachelor’s degree tend to be more employable than those with just a High School diploma. See the image below comparing employment stats of college graduates versus high school graduates. What we find is that both in good times economically and bad times, a college education is worth it.
According to the U.S. Bureau of labor and statistics, the unemployment rate in 2019 for college graduates was 2.2% and in comparison to individuals with only a high school diploma 3.7%. Both figures indicate some of the lowest unemployment figures seen in history. However those with a college education fairing even better as time goes on. In good times and bad times, a college education proves to hold its value. Just as college graduates were able to gain back employment during the 2009 recession, a similar pattern was found during the COVID-19 national and regional shutdowns in 2020 when many individuals lost employment across the nation. According to Pew Research Center, in May of 2020 the unemployment rate shot up to 13.3% and was even at 14.3% for women. However, those with a college education still maintained employment far better than those that did not have a Bachelor’s degree to stand on. “The unemployment rate in May was lowest among workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher education (7.2%), the only group among those examined not to experience an unemployment rate in the double digits” – Pew Research Center. And in a lot of ways maintaining employment during COVID benefited workers based on the type of employment. Many Bachelor’s degree holders were able to maintain employment because they were able to telework.