It used to be that you could earn a nice living without graduating from college. Those days are long gone my friend. While there are still some decent jobs that only require a high school education, they are dwindling rapidly. Today’s economy is fueled by people working with their minds rather than their hands. The reality is that not going to college will likely mean a life marked with financial hardships. Numbers just released by the College Board, maker of the SAT, tell the gloomy tale. In fact, if these numbers don’t make you want to graduate from college then nothing else will.
The data was compiled by the latest 2010 census so it is a clear and relevant picture of what’s going on today. So many of these polls show data from over 15 years ago that it can be said they are not relevant or accurate. This data is less than two years old. It sets the record straight on how important a college education is in terms of financial stability.
The numbers show that high school graduates earn on average $24,300 per year. That’s barely over $2,000 per month. Ask anyone who lives on that type of salary and they will tell you that it’s doable, but very tough. You certainly will not be living in the lap of luxury. In fact, you will be hard pressed to even be able to afford a home in most areas of the country on that low of an income.
And for those who do not graduate from high school – the outlook is even worse. You might as well be resigned to a life full of poverty. The average non-high school graduate earns $17,300 a year and is relegated to doing the types of jobs that no one else with an education wants to do.
So what about the other side of the equation? People who have a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $50,000 gross. That’s over double of what the high school graduate earns. Over a 40 year work career that’s over a million dollars. And that’s if your salary stays at $50,000, which is highly unlikely. So what if someone told you that going to school for just four more years would net you at least a million dollars? Kids would be lining up in droves to sign up for college.
It gets better for those who earn master’s degrees. Those individuals earn on average $60,000 per year. If you and your spouse both have masters degrees that means you’ll probably be pulling in well over six figures together. On the other hand, two non-high school graduates will be earning just $34,600 a year combined – ouch!
Numbers don’t lie. If you’re thinking about not going to college or dropping out – please reconsider. It’s never too late to back to school. If you have kids please share this vital information with them.