Upward mobility and higher education


Posted by Ryan DeVito on 3 July 2018

There are swirling concerns that future students may never attain the level of education that was afforded to their parents. The issue isn't opportunity, though, but the value of education.

Higher education costs have increased while public education budgets have been slashed. As the cost of education has increased, though, the average household income has not been able to keep up. This means that families today are spending more on education than ever before. However, the story isn't all bad. Research shows that higher education is invaluable in increasing lifetime earning power. Even more, obtaining a graduate degree can, in many cases, very significantly increase earning potential over someone who stopped at a high school diploma. The high school diploma is less and less valuable as time goes on, and as more technical degree programs become the standard bearers for job market entry.

Some sources hail the end of upward mobility and the decline of education in the United States, but I disagree: higher education in the United States is vivacious, and supremely important in the current market. While costs are on the rise, families can be proactive by creating a strong financial plan and not taking on more credit than they can reasonably afford. Community colleges and state colleges are perennial lower-cost alternatives to private colleges that may or may not be able to offer sufficient financial aid. The best education is the education you have, after all. Upward mobility is alive and well.

Does education have value beyond its cost? We would love to hear you comments below.