- College is more expensive than ever, leading many business leaders and experts to offer ways to get good jobs without needing a degree.
- Yet college graduates still earn more than non-college graduates in every state in the US, according to data from the 2017 American Consumer Survey.
In light of the soaring cost of four-year college, leaders in education and business suggest Americans rethink the need for universities to find a good job. But at least for now, data suggests having a college degree pays more in the long run.
Earlier this year, Tim Cook made headlines for stating that you don't need a degree to be successful. Cook put his money where his mouth is: the CEO revealed about half of Apple's new hires in 2018 did not have a four-year degree.
Cook isn't the only one encouraging people to think beyond a bachelor's degree to find a good job. Trade schools have touted thehigh wages blue-collar work can yield, including six-figures for heavy-equipment technicians.
Even students of four-year colleges themselves feel that a university education wasn't worth the cost, a recent survey finds. College is more expensive than ever — and students are going into record debt to pay it off.
While skipping college may seem like a cheaper option, data suggests earnings for college graduates far exceed wages for those with less than a bachelor's degree. A Business Insider analysis of US Census data finds that in every US state, earnings for college graduates exceed the earnings for those with less than a bachelor's degree. Even in North Dakota, the state with the least difference in earnings, college grads still earn 38% more on average.
Some of the most expensive states have the largest differences between college grads and non-college grads. Washington, DC, has the highest pay disparity, with a 167% difference in earnings. California and New York follow closely behind with a 133% and 103% difference, respectively.
Separate data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics finds on average, workers who hold at least a bachelor's degree earned more than the $932 median weekly earnings for all workers in 2018.
Since college pays off in earnings, yet the cost keeps many potential students out, politicians like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sandershave proposed making public schools tuition-free.