What is the Relationship Between Education and Wealth?

by Ryan Guina

Earlier this week GoBankingRates.com started a group writing project to examine the relationship between wealth and education. You can see the entries at the Education and Wealth group writing project page.

The idea of the group writing project is to take a look at this topic from many angles, and the results have been both enlightening and fun!

What is the Relationship Between Education and Wealth?

In my opinion, there is no way to determine the absolute value of a college eduction – it depends on the degree you get, how you use it, how productive you are, the career field you are int, and many other factors.

I wanted to participate in the writing project and I chose to take a controversial approach by stating You Don’t Need a College Degree, But You Need an Education, where I challenged the value of a college degree. I am a college graduate and recognize the value of a college degree, but I also know that is not the only way to be successful. There are dozens of jobs and career fields which do not require a college degree. The key is being able to provide value and results.

As a follow up, I wrote the following article which examined How Much a College Degree is Worth. This article includes an infographic which shoes the average value of various levels of education, starting at a high school diploma and ending at a professional degree. The difference between the lifetime earnings of someone with a high school education and a Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree is substantial.

But keep in mind these are average lifetime earnings and there will always be situations that outside the mean. Just look at the difference between the starting salaries of the low college paying degrees and the highest paying college degrees as an example of the salary ranges people experience.

The key, in my opinion, is to be able to produce results. The more value you provide to your employer, the more likely you will be to keep your job and earn more money.

Published or updated April 29, 2015.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shaun

Great articles. I’m actually pretty sure that I’ll be taking a handful of classes this spring that are related to finance/economics — while I don’t necessarily plan on getting a degree, I think the education in the short run will be worth it.

I like that people are starting to realize that education really isn’t a one-size-fits all arena — different styles of education are needed for different people and their lifestyles they want. For some, that means college; for others, not so much.



2 Ryan

Shaun, I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing, but taking classes for basic computer programming or something similar to help me run my websites. At this point I’m not concerned with a degree – just the information! 🙂


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