WASHINGTON, D.C. — A college degree generally — but not always — means a higher income, according to a new Georgetown University study cited in Education Week. Race, gender and ethnicity all can affect income more than education level, the report said. Also, some occupations and positions pay high wages regardless of education.

The report from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce concluded that the lifetime earnings of high school dropouts are, on average, $973,000, compared to $3.6 million for degree-holders, Education Week reported. Within any given occupation, those with higher degrees tend to earn more than those with less education, Georgetown concluded.

However, women, blacks and Latinos can expect to earn less than other groups, while Asians at the graduate level make more than any other group, according to Education Week.

Construction work, management, and jobs in science, technology, engineering and math are examples of sectors where high-paying jobs are available without college degrees, the report said.


Education Week, “Study: More Education Leads to Higher Pay, But Not for All,” Aug. 5, 2011 (Subscription required)


Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Hope in State Graduation Standards Misplaced,” March 7, 2006