Study: College Degrees Don’t Always Guarantee Higher Earnings

A new study that was conducted by the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment shows that having a college degree does not always mean that you will make more money.

The study shows that students who graduate from community college with associate’s degrees in liberal arts, humanities and general studies don’t see a reflection of their degree in their earnings. This also applies to students that complete certificate programs.

The theory among researchers is that students often end up in liberal arts programs due to a lack of space in programs that have higher career earnings.

The results from Florida indicated that 55% of students that went to community college ended their education in humanities programs and in turn had lower graduation rates and the lowest earnings.

The Michigan study shows that 40% of the students from community colleges completed liberal arts courses and their degree gave them zero income advantage when compared to students that never graduated.

These results are likely to spur the conversation about the knowledge vs. vocational skills debate.

There is now proof that students that continue on to complete a bachelor’s degree will make more. The study shows that those in Florida that pursued a bachelor’s degree do indeed earn 61% more than those with an associate’s or no degree.

Marcus, J. (2014, September 23). Study Shows College Degree Doesn’t Guarantee Increased Earnings. Retrieved September 26, 2014, from

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