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College Degree = Value, Right?

Financial security, or the promise of lifetime employment, is often a reason for choosing to attend college.  However, recent income and employment trends may give college-bound students pause to further contemplate their expectations of job security with a college degree. 44% of today’s college graduates are underemployed, meaning they don’t need a college degree for their current jobs, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  In addition, since college graduates median income has remained relatively flat from 1965 to today, meaning that the exact middle of all full time employed college graduates of each of the last five generation has not changed substantially, yet college tuition since 1978 (see the second chart) has grown by 1140 percent, is the expected return on a college degree worthy of the costs?

Thinking though the most valuable academic major in which to earn a college degree may be a wise move.

5Generations.MedianIncome.PewResearchCtr

Chart 1 Source: Pew Research Center, February 2014

college-inflation7-13

Chart 2 Source: dshort.com