The Economic Perspective: “Does College Still Pay?”

I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks if college still pays.  Mike, students are now returning to college across both North Carolina and the nation.  Since college today is a significant financial investment, the question is always whether it pays off.  What does the latest research show?

  1. General answer is yes – $32,000 more than high school grads, but with some caveats
  2. First, must finish and get the degree – about 1/3 of entering students don’t
  3. Also, adjusted for inflation college wages have not increased recently
  4. And college costs have increased faster than inflation
  5. And – this is the clincher – employers have generally downplayed the skills of average college grad
  6. Has resulted in 40% of recent college grads working in jobs where don’t need college degree
  7. So – carefully pick major, and finish
  8. I’m MW

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.