Census: Schooling pays off Pay: Difference between advanced degrees, high school equals $4.4 million. - Brownsville Herald: Education

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Census: Schooling pays off Pay: Difference between advanced degrees, high school equals $4.4 million.

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2002 12:00 am

By GENARO C. ARMAS

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON What is the difference between a high school diploma and a

medical degree? About $3.2 million, says the Census Bureau.

Someone whose education does not go beyond high school and who works full time

can expect to earn about $1.2 million between ages 25 and 64 a typical

work-life period, according to demographers.

Graduating from college and earning advanced degrees translate into much

higher lifetime earnings: an estimated $4.4 million for doctors, lawyers and

others with professional degrees; $2.5 million for those with a masters

degree; and $2.1 million for college graduates.

The findings come from an agency survey being released today that charts the

influence of education on lifetime earnings.

Not all students look at college as an investment, but Im sure parents do,

said Jacqueline King, policy analyst with the American Council Education, a

higher education advocacy group. The challenge is to convince those high

school students on the margins is that it is really worth their time to go to

college.

Kevin Malacek, a graduate student in American politics at American University

in Washington, acknowledged the time commitment is significant.

But most people do find it worth it. They go to every single class, and they

are trying to get the most out of their own dollar, he said.

The survey was conducted between March 1998 and March 2000. All estimates are

based on 1999 salaries and probably will increase as salaries rise over time,

Census Bureau analyst Jennifer Day said.

The estimates do not account for inflation or for differences in the earnings

potential of the various fields of study and degree majors.

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